CFMEU rejects 475 visa program expansion plans:

CFMEU rejects 475 visa program expansion plans

Created on Monday, 19 August 2013 05:53 Written by Editorial staff

CFMEU rejects 475 visa program expansion plans
The Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has announced that it is gunning for swing seats in five states across Australia and the Northern Territory as part of a new election campaign.

One of the factors that has seemingly spurred them to conduct this campaign is the 457 visa system, which they continue to claim is being rampantly abused.

This is a claim migration agents in Australia have heard many times before, and will no doubt hear again in the days and weeks leading up to the election.

The campaign is costing the CFMEU more than a million dollars to conduct, and they have really gone all-out in terms of advertising.

According to a media statement released today, TV, radio, billboards and the internet will all be broadcasting the organisation’s message.

So, what exactly is this message? Basically, that Australians have “a lot to fear” from a proposed 457 visa program expansion.

“Young Australians are already missing out on jobs and training opportunities because of the 457 scheme and the coalition’s plans to expand it will be to the detriment of working Australians,” said Michael O’Connor, who is national secretary of the CFMEU.

This campaign is part of a larger CFMEU strategy, titled “Let’s Spread it Around,” which aims to increase the number of employment opportunities being given to Australians following the resources boom.

Liana Allan, treasurer of Migration Alliance, and other migration agents around the country have slammed this campaign.

In a recent blog post, Ms Allan drew attention to one of the CFMEU’s billboards, saying it was “misleading” and that Migration Alliance condemn the message it was attempting to convey.

It claims that Tony Abbott supports temporary overseas workers – in other words, those in Australia on immigration visas – at the expense of local ones.

It is Migration Alliance’s opinion that Mr Abbott has never made any such claims. Ms Allan called the suggestion “ridiculous” and said the CFMEU’s entire campaign effectively “vilifies people based on their immigrant status”.

This billboard was set up in Geelong. The CFMEU also plans to target advertising at Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales.

So, Australian migration agents might want to keep an eye out for more “misleading” comments and make their objections heard!