Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013; Consideration in Detail
I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill. I ask leave of the House to move government amendments (1) to (16).
I move government amendments (1) to (16):
(1) Schedule 1, heading, page 4 (line 1), omit "purpose", substitute "preliminary".
(2) Schedule 1, item 1, page 4 (after line 32), after section 140AA, insert:
140AB Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration
(1) The Minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that, at all times, there is in existence a council that:
(a) is known as the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration; and
(b) is established under the executive power of the Commonwealth; and
(c) includes representatives of unions, industry and State and Territory governments and other members (if any) nominated by the Minister; and
(d) meets at least quarterly.
(2) Without limiting its functions apart from this section, the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration is to provide advice to the Minister in relation to the temporary sponsored work visa program.
(3) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (lines 15 to 18), omit paragraphs 140GBA(3)(b) and (c), substitute:
(b) the nomination is accompanied by:
(i) evidence in relation to that labour market testing (see subsections (5) and (6)); and
(ii) if one or more Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents were, in the previous 4 months, made redundant or retrenched from positions in the nominated occupation in a business, or an associated entity, of the approved sponsor—information about those redundancies or retrenchments; and
(4) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (line 19), after "evidence,", insert "and information (if any),".
(5) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (lines 19 to 22), omit "the Minister is satisfied that a suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident is not readily available to fill the nominated position.", substitute:
the Minister is satisfied that:
(i) a suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident is not readily available to fill the nominated position; and
(ii) a suitably qualified and experienced eligible temporary visa holder is not readily available to fill the nominated position.
(6) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (line 26) to page 7 (line 18), omit subsections 140GBA(5) and (6), substitute:
(4A) Despite paragraph (3)(a) and subsection (4), if there have been redundancies or retrenchments as mentioned in subparagraph (3)(b)(ii), the labour market testing must be undertaken after those redundancies and retrenchments.
Evidence of labour market testing
(5) For the purposes of subparagraph (3)(b)(i), the evidence in relation to the labour market testing:
(a) must include information about the approved sponsor's attempts to recruit suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to the position and any other similar positions (see also subsection (6)); and
(b) may also include other evidence, such as:
(i) copies of, or references to, any research released in the previous 4 months relating to labour market trends generally and in relation to the nominated occupation; or
(ii) expressions of support from Commonwealth, State and Territory government authorities with responsibility for employment matters; or
(iii) any other type of evidence determined by the Minister, by legislative instrument, for this subparagraph.
(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5)(a), the information mentioned:
(a) must include details of:
(i) any advertising (paid or unpaid) of the position, and any similar positions, commissioned or authorised by the approved sponsor; and
(ii) fees and other expenses paid (or payable) for that advertising; and
(b) may also include other information, such as:
(i) information about the approved sponsor's participation in relevant job and career expositions; or
(ii) details of any other fees and expenses paid (or payable) for any recruitment attempts mentioned in paragraph (5)(a) (including any participation mentioned in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph); or
(iii) details of the results of such recruitment attempts, including details of any positions filled as a result.
(7) Schedule 2, item 2, page 7 (before line 19), before the heading to subsection 140GBA(7), insert:
(6A) If the approved sponsor elects to provide other evidence and information as mentioned in paragraphs (5)(b) and (6)(b), the Minister may take that evidence and information into account. But if the approved sponsor elects not to provide such other evidence or information, the Minister is not to treat the nomination less favourably merely because of that fact.
(8) Schedule 2, item 2, page 7 (after line 20), before the definition of Australian permanent resident in subsection 140GBA(7), insert:
associated entity has the same meaning as in Part 2A of the regulations.
(9) Schedule 2, item 2, page 7 (after line 22), after the definition of Australian permanent resident in subsection 140GBA(7), insert:
eligible temporary visa holder: a person is an eligible temporary visa holder in relation to a nomination by an approved sponsor if, at the time when the nomination is made:
(a) the person is the holder of a temporary visa referred to in the regulations as a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa or a Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa; and
(b) the person is employed in the agricultural sector by the approved sponsor (or an associated entity of the approved sponsor); and
(c) the temporary visa does not prohibit the person from performing that employment.
(10) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (line 3), after "qualification", insert ", other than a protected qualification".
(11) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (line 4), after "experience", insert ", other than protected experience".
(12) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (line 12), after "AQF", insert ", other than a protected qualification".
(13) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (line 13), after "experience", insert ", other than protected experience".
(14) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (line 25), omit the heading to subsection 140GBC(6), substitute:
(15) Schedule 2, item 2, page 9 (after line 28), at the end of subsection 140GBC(6), add:
protected experience means experience in the field of engineering (including shipping engineering) or nursing.
protected qualification means a qualification (however described) in engineering (including shipping engineering) or nursing.
(16) Schedule 2, item 6, page 11 (line 19), after "applies", insert "(subject to subsection 140GBA(4A))".
The amendments to the bill are in relation to the requirement for sponsors to undertake labour market testing prior to lodging an application for nomination approval. In the bill as it currently stands, the labour market testing requirement is met if the minister is satisfied that a suitably qualified Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident is not readily available to fill the position. It is proposed to extend this to include eligible temporary visa workers on a work-and-holiday 462 visa or a working holiday 417 visa in the agriculture sector who are lawfully employed by the sponsor or an associated entity of the sponsor at the time of the application for nomination. The labour market testing requirement will now be satisfied if a suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible temporary visa holder is not readily available to fill the nominated position.
In relation to the evidentiary requirements for sponsors, I propose that it be mandatory for a sponsor to provide information about their attempts to recruit suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to the position and any similar positions. Sponsors must also provide details of any advertising, paid or unpaid, of the position and any similar positions commissioned or authorised by the approved sponsor and fee and other expenses paid or payable for that advertising. In the bill as it currently stands, the provision of information about recruitment attempts is only one of several evidentiary options that sponsors may choose to provide as proof that they have adequately tested the local labour market prior to lodging a nomination. Requiring the mandatory provision of such information provides a much stronger test of a sponsor's efforts to fill vacancies in their business with Australian workers.
This amendment also clarifies that, if the approved sponsor elects to provide evidence and information other than evidence of advertising and fees or payment of fees to support their claims to have tested the labour market, the minister may take the evidence into account. The nomination will not, however, be treated less favourably if the approved sponsor elects not to provide such additional evidence or information. In addition, I propose a mandatory requirement for sponsors to provide information if one or more Australian citizens or permanent residents were made redundant or retrenched from positions in the nominated occupation in the sponsor's business or associated entity in the four months prior to the lodging of a nomination. If there have been redundancies or retrenchments, labour market testing must be undertaken by the sponsor after those redundancies and retrenchments.
The bill currently allows for skill and occupational exemptions to the labour market testing requirement to apply to specific occupations by legislative instrument within skills level 1 or 2 as currently described in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. I now intend to restrict the skill and occupational exemptions in relation to labour market testing, with the effect that nominations made by the approved sponsors requiring either experience or a qualification or both in engineering, including shipping engineering, or nursing cannot be exempt from labour market testing. This will be applied in a manner consistent with Australia's international trade obligations. Furthermore, in line with the reduction in the period over which a sponsor will be required to test the local labour market from six to four months, I propose a consequential amendment to the evidence requirement for labour market testing in relation to research on the labour market trends generally, and in relation to relevant occupations I propose to reduce the period in which this research would be released from six to four months prior to a sponsor lodging a nomination.
Lastly, to ensure that the views of the relevant stakeholders are considered in any regulatory changes to the subclass 457 visa program and in recognition of the advisory function of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration, I propose the inclusion of the requirement that the minister must take all reasonable steps to ensure that at all times there is in existence the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration—a body which includes representatives of unions, industry, state and territory governments and other members, if any, nominated by the minister—and that it meet at least on a quarterly basis. Without limiting the functions, the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration is to provide advice to the minister in relation to the temporary sponsored work visa program. I commend the proposed amendments to the House.
These amendments are fundamentally driven by the member for New England in the discussions he has had with the government over these matters. When we had those discussions with the member for New England, they were about reducing the regulatory burden. The government has put forward an amendment here which increases the regulatory burden, and this is to a bill and a set of measures that were already designed to choke the 457 scheme. We heard the last speaker for the government speak on this bill, and I think he was quite honest about the government's real intentions here. He wants to see the 457 scheme completely abolished and abandoned. There are two ways to do that: you can abolish the scheme or you can choke it to death through the measures this government is introducing through this bill in its attack on skilled migration.
In this bill, and in this amendment in particular, the government seeks to legislate in the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration, a council that does a good job. But one has to question why there is a need to actually mandate its presence in the legislation, other than when you get into the amendment and you note that the government is mandating the presence of unions in the formation of that council and, by law, hard-wiring the union into the process into the future. This is something we have seen from this government now for some time in the dying days of this 43rd Parliament as they do the bidding of the unions, even here in this last amendment they are seeking to put forward in this bill.
The amendments also make one worthy suggestion, though, and that deals with the transfer arrangements for those on skilled temporary visas or other temporary visas where they might translate. Why would the government seek to put this all in one omnibus group of amendments and not deal with that separately? If it had dealt with it separately then the coalition might have had the opportunity to support that matter. But, because it is bundled up here with the increased regulation the government has put on the table courtesy of the member for New England, we find ourselves in a situation where this is not an amendment we can support.
There are more mandatory obligations presented in the amendments put forward by the government than they had in their first bill. The red union tape only chokes this measure and chokes this scheme all the more tightly as a result of what the minister has brought in and put on this table today. I believe he has the purpose of trying to see this scheme run into the ground and taken out of the vital role that it plays in our economy. At the behest of the unions he would see this scheme go by the wayside, despite the fact that there are already significant powers and protections that were introduced into these measures back in 2008 as a result of the Deegan review. That gave powers to the government to go out there and police these measures.
We have seen that, despite a 20 per cent increase in the number of active sponsors, the number of sponsors monitored by the government has fallen by 67 per cent and the number of sponsor sites visited has fallen by 51 per cent. The budget for detection onshore of visa compliance has fallen from $74 million to $52 million under this government. So a government that says it wants to crack down on abuses has not given it the budget and has not increased its level of inspection despite the increased powers it was given. That is why the member for Lyne made very good points, in the debate earlier on the second reading, about powers that existed and the lack of any need, based on the lack of substantiation put forward by the government in bringing these measures to this House, to go forward and actually go and police the laws that it currently has. Our argument has been simple. The government has not done the appropriate work to bring this measure into the parliament and now it is seeking to add insult to injury through these amendments by applying further red tape to this measure, courtesy of the member for New England's support for this bill.
I note also that the minister notes that there are special restrictions applied for those in nursing and engineering. I note his comment about international trade issues and I would welcome the minister tabling what those international trade issues are, but I would make this point. We know that 457s are used as a critical measure to get nurses into regional and rural areas of Australia. It is a very important part of this scheme. The minister has not explained why he is seeking to make it harder to get nurses into rural and regional areas or to get engineers into major construction projects or major resource projects, which is a critical need, nor has he tabled the details of why he would add an additional burden on industry and on the health system to get the people it needs to provide the care and support workers required. (Time expired)
I want briefly to contribute to this debate because this is an incredibly important issue, particularly for regional areas that are in desperate need of trained nurses who otherwise cannot be found in the domestic market. If anybody wanted a demonstration of how this government puts its political masters ahead of the interests of the Australian people, they need look no further than what Minister O'Connor is providing for in this bill. This is an attack on the average worker and it is an attack on regional Australia. The fact is that this government is fully owned and operated by the union movement in this country, and this bill proves that beyond any doubt whatsoever. It is very difficult indeed for regional hospitals to attract the nursing skills that they need. It is very hard to attract the clinical services that specialist nursing staff require and in many cases need to be brought in under a 457 visa.
It is the case that this government promised to fix public hospitals. They promised that they would fix public hospitals by mid-2009 or seek at a subsequent election to take financial control of those 750 public hospitals. They said that as a government they had a plan for hospitals in this nation. They wanted to make it easier for people to see a doctor or nurse in a regional hospital. But, by their very action today, they show that they were at very best misleading in that claim after the 2007 election.
This is a government that has been filled with promises that have been broken on a daily basis. This is a government that has put the interests of union bosses ahead of Australian patients. This bill today demonstrates that again. This government, in its dying days, has demonstrated to the public yet again that it cannot be trusted. It has demonstrated to the Australian public, particularly those who live in regional areas where they find it incredibly difficult to get not just nursing staff but doctors and specialists, that this is a problem of the government's own making. This is a government that makes it harder for Australians, not easier. This is a government that makes it harder for Australia's public hospitals to operate, not easier. That is why this government should be condemned in relation to this bill.
I endorse very strongly the member for Cook's contribution to this debate, because this is a minister that is morally corrupt, that is completely owned and operated by the union movement—and it is unacceptable.
If it assists the House, I withdraw. But it is a matter of public record that this minister's links to the union movement have spanned decades, and it is now Australian patients, doctors, nurses and those running public hospitals in regional areas who are going to suffer because of those very links. This minister is motivated not by patients or by helping out regional hospitals but by pleasing union bosses. That is why this government, in the public's eye, is done. The deals that this government has presided over with the union movement, with its bosses, condemns it to failure at the next election. That is why this parliament should oppose a particularly bad piece of legislation.
I rise to support the amendments. As the House would be aware, I had circulated a previous set of amendments I referred to in my second reading speech. The Greens were always concerned to make sure that the protections in this bill extended across the board. There are particular areas of concern to us, and those are for people in higher skilled and degree qualified occupations. These are nurses, people working in IT, engineers—particularly engineers who are working in mobile areas, like ships or planes—who are in areas that I have been made aware of as having many instances of abuse and concern.
Because the government has accepted some part of those amendments that I have moved, I will not be proceeding with my own amendments. But I commend the government for approaching this legislation in a way that is different from the approach to some other pieces of legislation. This process has been marked by a willingness to work with members of the crossbench. I commend the amendments to the House.
I rise specifically to touch on the issue that has also been addressed by the member for Dickson, and that is the position which we see in the area of health care and social assistance. This is one of the largest groups which use 457 visas, with 12,580 subclass 457 visas as at 30 April 2013.
This has been a very important area for Australia. There is a specific carve-out for nurses in this area, where nurses often have a relevant bachelor's degree. When you look at our skilled migration program, Australia has been admired around the world for the robustness of our skilled migration program. When you travel to other countries, they know that we have a rigorous assessment. We have details of quantifications where there are shortages. How important this has been to our economy should not be underestimated.
One of the things that the Howard government did when it was elected in 1996 was to get the balance right between skilled migration and family reunion. Under the previous government, there had been too much of a focus on family reunion and not enough on the skilled migration program. When you look at the ways our economy can grow, there are basically three sources. Growth comes either from population growth, from participation or from productivity. Those are the only three ways we can see our economy grow.
Support for our skilled migration program has been very important for Australia being a prosperous economy. It has been very important in addressing the constraints to growth. We now see the Labor Party responding to their union bosses and a campaign which has been run and dictated by the unions to try to remove a very important source of economic growth, particularly in areas where people are finding it hard—where hospitals, health services and aged care are finding it hard to attract nurses under 457 visas. This is one of the problems that the opposition has with this bill.
I have great respect for the member for Dickson. I think he has showed a lot of moral courage and intelligence on a number of occasions, but I have to disagree with him and the previous speaker on this issue on the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013. I have had to live with it all of my life, trying to get nurses and doctors into rural Australia, and we now have eight new universities turning out doctors, with about 12 or 15 turning out nurses. The cavalry is on the way.
But what is happening is that we are getting people from overseas. In Queensland we had the dreadful case of Dr Death at Bundaberg, but there are many other cases similar to that. With a lot of the people coming in it is very difficult for the migration services, and I think the health services have been a little lax in allowing people in who are not qualified like our Australian doctors. We would like to think our medical training in Australia is superior to the rest of the world in the area of medical technology. It is one of the very few areas in which Australia is still holding its ground against the rest of the world. We would like to think we are very advanced in these areas. If we are, then rural Australia is getting the rough end of the pineapple; we are not getting as good a product as is coming out of our Australian universities.
But as always we are acting like we need 457 visas. We had never had 457 visas in our history until about 15 years ago. It is rather intriguing that the Liberals are advocating the 457 visas when they allowed only 38,000 in—God bless them—whereas the current mob are allowing 100,000 in. If we judge political parties on their performances then I would be giving an A to the Liberal Party and a Z to the Labor Party on this issue. I find the few points being put forward today rather ironic. I choose the word 'ironic', but there is obviously another word in my mind. Why, suddenly, in the last 15 years have we not had any nurses, any fitters, any miners? Mr Deputy Speaker, please do not insult our intelligence! At Boggabri there were 100 people from overseas, from one of the cheapest labour countries in the world. They decided they needed cutbacks, so there were 100 of them brought in and put there. Then they sacked all of the Australian workers. They are insulting our intelligence. This is about undermining pay and conditions.
The Leader of the Nationals was so stupid yesterday as to let the cat out of the bag, which we will make sure the people of Queensland and of other places know, when he said that the real problem here is that the base issues are the wages. Thank you, you have just said it all. The real problem is the wages, and we have to get the wages down. He did not say that, but it was implied in what he said. He gave the wage figures from New Zealand, the United States and Australia. He said $8 an hour. The implication of what he was saying was clearly that we should be working here for $8 an hour. A person on the opposition benches made such a stupid statement, and she at least had the decency to apologise to the Australian people; I doubt we will getting that out of the Leader of the Nationals. No, what we are talking about here is undermining our pay and conditions, having a totally supine workforce where the boss holds the deportation order and can crack the whip of the deportation order any time he feels like it. It is to the eternal shame of the Labor Party, and it will be remembered in history as the party that brought in 125,000 foreign workers on top of the nearly 200,000 that are coming in under the migration program.
I am not blaming anyone in my electorate, many of whom employ 457 workers. You would be a mug if you did not—you know you can pay them less! You know you can tell them to do whatever you want them to do. There is no issue of pay and conditions— (Time expired)
In response to the member for Cook's comments, it is unfair of him to praise entirely the member for New England when he talks about the amendments. In fact, the member for Kennedy, the member for New England, the member for Denison, the member for Dobell and the member for Melbourne have worked with the government on a range of these amendments. In fact, it was the member for New England who recommended the reference to temporary work visas, which was the one amendment that the member for Cook supported in his contribution. I am not sure why he is showing any particular enmity towards the member for New England's position in light of the fact that the one amendment that he did agree upon was suggested by the member for New England.
In relation to international treaties, I have referred to that insofar as our bilateral arrangements that would confine labour market testing between certain countries. That is in the second reading speech. Insofar as the nursing exemptions go, there have been some concerns about graduates of nursing schools in Australia not getting opportunities to fill positions. All the while, certain employers are filling those positions with temporary skilled nurses. We need temporary skilled nurses in parts of the country—no doubt—and all that will be required is an advertisement. The same applies to engineering. We have had concerns about certain areas of engineering. Again, let us remember what is being asked here. There is no proscription on these occupations insofar as 457s are concerned; it is suggesting only that there should be an advertisement and that the local market be tested. I think that is entirely reasonable.
Insofar as other comments made, I understand the comments and some of the views of the member for Kennedy, and I respect his views. We disagree on some of them, and I know he has some amendments to move shortly. I will say more about it then if I need to.
Very briefly, I would ask the minister if he could clarify that in the amendment that he puts forward there is no justification, as I understand it, for the special singling out of both nurses and engineers in placing a higher test in terms of labour marketing testing for nurses and engineers than is otherwise provided for in the original bill, which exempts from labour market testing a person with a relevant bachelor degree or higher qualifications or five years or more relevant experience. The minister is singling out nurses and engineers to require them to be subject to labour market testing, whereas any other person with a bachelor degree or higher qualification or five years or more of relevant experience would not be subject to that. I just want to be very clear that the minister is not saying that that is because of any international treaties or trade arrangements.
No; the international treaties were in reference to some of the areas that we are confined to insofar as labour market testing is concerned. I would refer the honourable member to my second reading speech. What I also said and made very clear in my second reading speech is that, whilst we would look to consider occupations in level 1 to be exempt from market testing, that would be done by legislative instrument, in the main. What I have done in this instance is included two professions that I think require what is still a very low level form of testing. This is not an overly rigorous or onerous testing.
What I made clear in the second reading speech is that there would be occupations in level 1 that may have to go to market testing. That was clear from the beginning. It has been put to me by a number of other members—and I have also had evidence provided to me—that there are some concerns in relation to those particular very important professions. For that reason, they are expressly referred to in the legislation. But that would not prevent us from ensuring that other levels and other occupations would in fact require labour market testing if we chose to do that by legislative instrument beyond the enactment of this bill if it passes both houses.
by leave—I move amendments (1) to (3), as circulated in my name, together:
(1) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (lines 10 to 22), omit subsection 140GBA(3), substitute:
(3) The labour market testing condition is satisfied if the Minister is satisfied that the approved sponsor has undertaken labour market testing in relation to the nominated position:
(a) within a period determined under subsection (4) in relation to the nominated occupation; and
(b) by means of advertising the position in the media in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
(2) Schedule 2, item 2, page 6 (line 26) to page 7 (line 18), omit subsections 140GBA(5) and (6).
(3) Schedule 2, item 2, page 7 (line 26), at the end of the definition of labour market testing subsection 140GBA(7), add ", by the means and within the period referred to in subsection (3)".
The amendments put forward achieve one simple purpose—that is, to give effect to the minister's own statement and the member for New England's own expressed desire of amendments to this bill and the discussions that were held with the coalition.
The minister said at the Skilled Migration National Employer Conference in Melbourne on Friday, 21 June—and I have heard him make this same statement on numerous occasions in relation to these measures:
Labour market testing is putting an ad in the paper, that's it—there are no other undertakings required from the employer.
As we know, that is plainly not true in the bill that was presented in this House in terms of the many other obligations that are put on employers in relation to the labour market testing that was introduced, found not to be effective, found not to be working and was abolished and replaced with the reference to the skilled occupation list.
These amendments are to ensure that we can be true in this bill to what the minister has represented for this bill and that the amendments that have just been put forward by the government are indeed what the law actually says. What these amendments do is simply ensure that the act will say that labour market testing means advertising the position in the media in the manner prescribed by the regulations—nothing more, nothing less.
What the coalition is suggesting here is that the labour market testing regime, which the government has forced onto this parliament, be restricted to only what the minister has said it is outside of this place and, indeed, inside this place—that is, it should only be to have an ad in the paper. So if the minister is true to his word, if the minister actually wants to reflect in the law what he has represented this bill to be outside of this place, then the government should support the amendments. The government should support ensuring that all that is required, to use his own words, is that labour market testing is putting an ad in the paper. That is it. There are no other undertakings required from the employer. That is what the amendments do. That is exactly what the amendments do.
What the government has done is bring amendments in here with the support of Independents, who all sought to have even greater regulatory burdens put on as a result of this bill. But also what the minister has said outside of this place is to just bring it back to the simple requirement to have advertising placed in the manner and form prescribed by the regulations. Why would we require it to be done by regulation? Obviously there is a need to specify what form this would take. Technologies change, readership patterns change: is it local, is it national, is it on the internet, is it on Seek.com, is it in the local newspaper? All of these things would need to be addressed. They are properly addressed in the regulations, not in the substantive bill.
What we have here is a con. We have the minister who we already know was caught out, when it came to his substantiation for this bill, making up the claim of 10,000—caught out. Now we have the minister caught out again in making representations outside of this place, and even inside of this place it would seem, suggesting that all the bill requires is an ad in the paper when it plainly requires far more red union tape than that. He has been caught out misrepresenting it again. And if the House wants further evidence of that, then in the one inquiry that has been undertaken into this bill, rushed through the Senate last week—the House inquiry that was to be undertaken on this matter before this parliament even considered it, was dodged by the government—Senator Cash asked the officials from the department of immigration:
… what Minister O'Connor stated. He stated, 'Labour market testing is putting an ad in the paper. That is it. There are no other undertakings required from the employer'—
quoting the minister, and she went on:
… upon what basis does Minister O'Connor make that statement?
That was the question to the official. And the answer was:
… I cannot speak to why the minister would have made that statement.
Once again, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has left this minister hanging out to dry on another false claim that he has been making. Whether it is trying to make up the evidence for the bill that he has brought before the House or make up what this bill actually does, the minister has been caught out serially and seriously misleading what the true intentions and effect of this bill are. The government and the crossbenchers have the opportunity to make sure this bill only does what the minister has told the Australian people that it would do. It should just be an ad in the paper. That is what these amendments will require, and I call on members to support them.