SPEECH: Misuse of Temporary Work Visas in the Australian Meat Industry

Aug 14, 2017

Mr CONROY (Shortland) (13:58): I rise to draw attention to the House the ongoing abuse of temporary work visas in the meat industry, in particular, section 457 visas. Because of this abuse, Australian workers find they have reduced hours with reduced rates of pay as companies are engaging workers on 457 or 186 visas. The meat workers union raised the case of Paul Wilson from Wingham with me. Paul was demoted from his duties only to be replaced with a section 457 visa holder. Because of this unjust action, Paul is suffering considerable financial hardship. The union has written to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection about Paul’s case, and I trust he will have his department investigate and provide a thorough response

This is incredibly unconscionable that companies are able to abuse the system, and that Australian workers and their families are suffering because of it. I have also been advised that, because of the ongoing cattle shortage, there is a very significant surplus of skilled, qualified meatworkers who cannot gain full-time employment. There is no need for companies in the meat industry to source foreign labour when there are Aussie workers desperate for work. Australian workers deserve better and they are being let down by this government, in particular the member for Lyne, who is nowhere to be seen, and the Prime Minister, who, on 457 visas is all talk, like he is on every other issue that matters to Australians.

The SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members’ statements has concluded.

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