Senate debates

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Questions without Notice: Additional Answers

Skilled Migration

4:22 pm

Photo of Amanda VanstoneAmanda Vanstone (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

by leave—It is not usually a pleasure to ever have to correct a statement that you have made in this place, but in this case today it is somewhat of a pleasure to do that. Earlier today, I provided to the Senate some examples of the use of 457 visas by unions which were provided to me, partly by the department and partly by my office. They showed that unions were using the scheme, but the unions want to restrict employers from using 457s in Australia. One example used was the National Tertiary Education Industry Union. I was told they had employed an industrial relations officer on a 457 visa. I am now advised that that person was not seeking a 457 visa.

Nonetheless, it is an example of the same sort of thing I was talking about—namely, saying one thing and doing another. That particular individual has applied for a regional sponsored migration scheme visa, which requires a regional certifying body to certify it. The reason it was listed in the examples of saying one thing and doing another is that there has been criticism from my colleagues opposite about regional certifying bodies. It does appear that they would be happy to accept a yes from the RCB, if in fact a yes is given, because this application is in the process of being processed.