Earlier this year the Liberal Government removed the requirement for offshore resources companies to test the Australian labour market before employing overseas workers. This was the wrong thing to do. It is only reasonable that employers should be required to ascertain whether there are Australian workers ready, willing and able to do a job before bringing in migrant workers to do it.
Now Alannah MacTiernan has noted that the pipe-laying contractor Saipem has advised workers that it is exploring using non-Australian labour to lay pipes for the Inpex project in Western Australia's north. At a time when Australia when over 750,000 Australians are out of work, this should not be allowed.
But it is even worse. The workforce is being told – surprise, surprise – they need to agree to move to four week swings, from the current three weeks – if they are to have any chance of saving some jobs for Australians. These jobs involve working 12-14 hours a day. So migrant workers are once again being used as a battering ram against working conditions for Australian workers.
The claim that 457 visas don't hurt Australian workers is yet again revealed as false.