Industry groups slam O’Connor 457 comments

Industry groups slam O’Connor 457 comments

Created on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 01:19

 

Industry groups slam O'Connor 457 comments

Immigration minister Brendan O’Connor’s recent comments regarding 457 temporary skilled visas continue to raise criticism, with a number of industry groups slamming his remarks.

The politician claimed 10,000 people are rorting the 457 immigration visas system and confirmed he will be seeking new legislation to prevent abuses.

However, Australian Mines and Metals Association industry executive director Scott Barklamb said the figure seemed to have been “plucked out of thin air over the weekend”.

”The government is irresponsibly attempting to stir up a dog-whistling style, quasi-xenophobic campaign, out of all proportion and with no regard to Australia’s international reputation and regional standing as a destination of investment, employment and migration,” he told Canowindra News.

WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief James Pearson also criticised Mr O’Connor’s claim, adding that the immigration department had told the skilled migration advisory council that only between one and three per cent of visa holders were thought to be rorting the system.

Mr Pearson, who is a member of the skilled migration advisory council, was quoted by The West Australian as saying: “We must not tarnish a scheme that is working very well across the country when to date there has been little evidence of rorts.”