Aust'n government announces crackdown on migrant workers

Added On November 16, 2016

CANBERRA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has announced a crackdown on international work visas to make more jobs available for Australians.
Under the initiative, announced by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Wednesday, foreign workers in Australia on four-year 457 visas will have just 60 days to find a job following the termination of employment or face deportation.
Dutton said the change to 60 from 90 days, which will come into effect on Saturday, would ensure the 457 visa acted as a supplement to Australian workface vacancies rather than a substitute for Australian workers.
"This change is about reducing competition from overseas workers for those Australians who are actively looking for work," Dutton said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The government values the contribution made by the many skilled persons who work in Australia on 457 visas, but where there is an Australian worker ready, willing and able to perform a role, it is the government's policy that they have priority."
Dutton's announcement came after the leader of the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), Bill Shorten, on Tuesday announced his own plan whereby businesses applying to use a 457 visa for a temporary skilled migrant worker would first have to advertise the job locally for four months.
Prime Minister (PM) Malcolm Turnbull hit out at Shorten's proposed changes, labelling it as "rank opportunism."
"This leader of the opposition is a rank opportunist," Turnbull said in comments published by Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
"He is completely hypocritical on this issue."
However, Turnbull on Wednesday claimed Dutton's changes as a win for the Labor party.
"Yesterday (Malcolm Turnbull) was out there panning Labor," Shorten told reporters on Wednesday.
'But today he's worked out that Australians, not just Labor but the Australian people, want to prioritize Australians getting jobs no now he's saying he'll be tougher on it."
There are currently 94,890 people in Australia on 457 visas, including the families of the migrant workers.