Talking numbers: the #457visa and Aussie jobs

According to the Australian government’s website:

The Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa is designed to enable employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian worker.

The subclass 457 visa is the most commonly used programme for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.

Source: Fact Sheet 48, Dept of Immigration and Border Protection
(last updated 14 January 2014)

Last week, media outlets revealed that too many nurses have immigrated on the 457 visa and have displaced Australia-trained nurses from the employment pool. Here are some examples of the coverage:

Up to 3,000 graduate nurses haven’t managed to get jobs in hospitals and unions are blaming a rise in the number of foreign nurses being brought into the country on 457 working visas.

More: ABC TV, Lateline, 23 May 2014

Hundreds of graduate nurses and midwives are struggling to get jobs and complain of being locked out of the workforce at the same time as hospitals are employing thousands of foreign nurses on temporary 457 visas.

More:Graduate nurses and midwives complain their jobs are being outsourced
to cheap 457 visa immigrants’, news.com.au, 20 May 2014

We encourage all our readers to sign the online petition calling on the Australian government to review the 457 visa for international nurses, so that Australian graduate nurses have more job opportunities. Over 21,000 people have already shown their support, but more signatures are needed.

Nursing isn’t the only profession that is threatened by poor administration of the 457 visa program. From the long-running negotiations towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australian and China, there’s an ominous suggestion that Chinese workers might be fast-tracked into Australia under a customised variation of the 457 visa rules:

There have been reports that China has demanded to be allowed to import workers into Australia for projects funded by Chinese investors as part of the FTA being negotiated between Canberra and Beijing.

While the government is unlikely to agree to such an arrangement, it is understood to be considering compromise options including streamlining Chinese firms’ sponsorship of 457 visas for some projects in Australia, while ensuring Australian work standards are still met.

 More: Free trade agreement push to import Chinese workers criticised’,
The Age, 15 April 2014.

High immigration places unreasonable pressure on our Australian economy, employment prospects and way of life. The 457 visa is just one ingredient in the immigration mix that is threatening our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity. 

The Australian government must develop policies to REDUCE IMMIGRATION. You can send them a message each time you vote by participating in our write-on campaign.

 

 

 

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Must Melbourne keep growing? Open mike meeting on #PopulationGrowth

In response to the latest official projections for population growth in Melbourne and Victoria, Victoria First Inc has issued a warning: “Melbourne will continue to grow both upwards and outwards, continuing its path to becoming an obese, hardened artery parody of its former self”.

Victoria First Inc was launched in December 2013 and hosted well-attended meetings in February and April 2014. It advocates a reduction in Australia’s immigration program.

Kelvin Thomson MP, the group’s President, has announced details of the next public meeting. Its topic is Must Melbourne keep growing? The meeting is being hosted jointly by Victoria First and Sustainable Population Australia. The format of the afternoon is a panel discussion and open mike.

As Victoria First’s website is still in development, we are pleased to assist by publishing information about the meeting here:

Date:   Saturday 14 June 2014

Start time:   2.00 pm

Venue:   Chandelier Room, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria

Melway:   Map 45 Ref D 10

Transport tips:   The nearest railway station is Glenferrie. Tram route 69 runs along Glenferrie Road. Car-parking is available via Oxley Street.

Topic:   “Must Melbourne keep growing?”

Panellists (with links to their speeches, published after the event on YouTube)

Kelvin Thomson MP, federal Member for Wills and President of Victoria First (speech via YouTube)

Clifford Hayes, planning activist and former Mayor of Bayside City Council (speech via YouTube)

Sheila Newman, author and editor of candobetter.net (speech via YouTube)

William Bourke, President of the Sustainable Population Party (speech via YouTube)

 Click here to download a flyer about the event.

Click here to watch the Open Mic session via YouTube.

 

Further information about the meeting and the joint hosts is available from:

Victoria First Inc: Julianne Bell, Secretary (email: jbell5@bigpond.com; mobile: 0408 022 408)

Sustainable Population Australia: Jill Quirk, President (email: vic@population.org.au; mobile: 0409 742 927)

#Budget2014: immigration target unchanged; still too high.

Australia’s national budget for 2014-15 was announced this evening.

In the lead-up period, there was strong advocacy of the need to reduce immigration. Alan Kohler spoke out clearly: “So what’s the problem? Simply that Australia’s population grew by nearly 8,000 people per week last year…” (The Australian, 6 May 2014) and Jenny Goldie did the maths: “We could save $20 billion by bringing immigration back to under 100,000” (The Australian, 8 May 2014).

We are therefore disappointed to find that the Abbott (Coalition) government has utterly failed to embrace the opportunity to reduce immigration and its associated costs.

Australia’s immigration targets for 2014-15 are now revealed in the Department of Immigration and Border Control’s Fact Sheet 20 – Migration Program Planning Levels and are unchanged since early this year: once again, there are 190,000 places in the Migration program and 13,750 places in the Humanitarian program. The total planned intake for the coming year is therefore 203,750.

In opposition in 2010, the Coalition promised to reduce “net overseas migration … to no more than 170,000 per year”. More recently, in 2013, they undertook to “ensure that our non-discriminatory immigration programme helps those in need and serves our national interest”. (See here for the sources of these policy statements.)

Our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity are matters of national interest but they are not well served by high immigration. In fact, as our evolving bibliography of media coverage on this topic shows, Australia’s national interest is threatened by high immigration.

The national interest is what we choose to make it. Tonight’s budget betrays that interest. All who have the opportunity to vote and to influence government policy should share news of the REDUCE IMMIGRATION campaign with their family and friends.

The real Light on the Hill: PM Ben Chifley on #immigration policy, 1949

PM Ben Chifley (Labor) is still hailed as one of Australia’s great Prime Ministers. Rarely, however, are his thoughts on the topic of immigration quoted for modern readers.

As Australians await the next national budget announcements on 13 May 2014 – with their potential to include new and hopefully lower immigration targets – we’d like to share with readers an editorial from the Melbourne Age some 65 years ago.

“National Ideal of White Australia”, Editorial, The Age, 31 May 1949

In a few plainly expressed homely paragraphs, the Prime Minister, in his Sunday night “weekly broadcast”, re-stated the basic factors behind our national policy of vigorous but selective immigration. These, as Mr Chifley pointed out, are as valid today as when the statutes of the respective states were incorporated in a federal law early in this century.

There is no ideal in which national agreement so nearly approaches unanimity as the desire for homogeneity, colloquially expressed in the terms “white Australia.” Any tampering with this policy for economic gain on the part of some small, affluent minority who would welcome a flood of cheap, coolie labor, or by a few impractical sentimentalists, would arouse wide spread indignation. Australia asks only the same right as that recognized and practised by every other nation – the right to determine how her population shall be composed. This generation of Australians recognizes a duty to preserve the heritage passed on by the pioneers who developed this continent and made it habitable.

It is to be hoped that Mr Chifley’s clear disclaimer will dispose of the false and mischievous notion that any sense of racial superiority is expressed or implied in our national policy. The blare of publicity which has attended the routine carrying out of the law in a few exceptional cases arising from the peculiar circumstances of the war, is to be deprecated. If traced to its source, this clamor will be found to be motivated, not by any mass urge of Asians to gain unrestricted right of entry into Australia – a right which they themselves do not accord even to other Asians – but by the strong desire of critics prepared to discredit the government by any propaganda device.

The peoples of Asia, toward whom in their upsurgent consciousness of nationality Australia adopts good-neighborly attitude, would not find in this continent with its own problems of light rainfall over wide semi-arid areas and liability to droughts, any appreciable relief from their population pressures. Their leaders who are well informed on the subject will endorse Mr Chifley’s words that, “the only way for Asians to achieve peace and prosperity for all their nations, was through strenuous efforts in their own lands, and not through emigration.” To this end they can rely on the good will, cultural friendliness and the material benefits of mutually advantageous trade with Australia.

These words reflect an age of practical intelligence, a time when ordinary people understood the importance of national survival and social cohesion as a “light on the hill”. Chifley would roll in his grave to learn of the size and composition of our current immigration program and their inevitable demographic consequences.