House debates

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions without Notice


2:34 pm

Photo of Brendan O'ConnorBrendan O'Connor (Gorton, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) Share this | Hansard source

There have been attempts by those opposite to distract from this debate by suggesting that the reforms are discriminatory. They are not discriminatory. We have a non-discriminatory immigration policy, and, as a migrant, I find it deeply offensive that people would suggest that we would do anything other than ensure that we recognise the contribution that immigration makes and continues to make to this country. This is about ensuring that local workers get an opportunity. This is about ensuring that young Australians that are going through training get an opportunity first. This is about ensuring that graduates that come out of university are offered entry-level, professional jobs before they are sought overseas. We should not be doing anything other than supporting these reforms, because they will ensure that, yes, the scheme will operate effectively, but it will also ensure that there is a legitimacy behind the applications. Currently that is not the case. It is quite surprising that the opposition choose not to support Australian workers and young Australians in getting opportunities—


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