Greens Deputy Leader and workplace spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP, has welcomed the tabling of a Senate Inquiry into section 457 visas and the Greens’ bill to regulate Enterprise Migration Agreements.
While the Labor majority stopped short of calling for protections to be enshrined in law, the report accepted the principles underlying the bill and recommended much stronger government action on 457s and EMAs, including advertising jobs locally before approving EMAs.
“I welcome the committee report because it reflects a more rational discussion about protecting local jobs and reforming temporary skilled migration than we have seen from the old parties in the last two weeks,” Mr Bandt said.
“The Prime Minister’s dog-whistling has woken up Pauline Hanson and overshadowed an important debate about protecting local jobs in the modern Australian economy.”
“Labor has sat on its hands for most of this Parliament and even only a few months ago Labor was talking up secretive Enterprise Migration Agreements, signed at the behest of powerful miners like Gina Rinehart.”
“The Greens have the guts to stand up to the big miners and we’ve led the charge in Parliament to protect local jobs.”
“The government should now listen to the Greens and the voices of its backbench reflected in this inquiry and do something real about regulating EMAs and s457 visas.”
“I am glad that the committee has backed the need for labour market testing, such as advertising to local workers before granting EMAs, even though Labor appears unwilling to put it into legislation.”