Jobs for Queenslanders must be 457 Visa review top priority

MACKAY'S resource advocacy group says any changes to the 457 Visa system should not take jobs away from Queenslanders.

Resource Industry Network general manager Julie Boyd said the system worked well when there was a skills shortage.

"At the moment, I don't believe there is a skills shortage," Ms Boyd said.

We needed 'local jobs for local people', Ms Boyd said.

"In reality, if we don't have people working in our community who are gainfully employed, it sets up a whole range of flow-on effects through to retail and a variety of other services.

"I think it changes the whole dynamic of a community."

An independent review of the 457 system has been released and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison flagged possible changes to the system in the future.

"(The) 457 workers make a contribution from day one," he said in a speech to the National Press Club.

"They come the right way, they pay tax and support themselves from day one.

"Skilled workers on sponsored programs are not a substitute for Australian jobs, but they are an integral part of the economic machinery that creates Australian jobs."

Mr Morrison said the Government would provide a formal response to the report in 'due course'.

"I agree that there is a need to simplify the process of sponsorship renewal, extend reporting timeframes and bring forward legislation to make it unlawful for sponsors to be paid by visa applicants for a migration outcome, reinforced by a robust penalty and conviction framework," he said.

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said there were also recommendations to strengthen the 457 program and ensure overseas workers did not displace Australians.



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