News

Changes to 457 visa ups pressure in farming sector

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells the media the Federal Government will abolish the 457 visa program that allows skilled foreigners to work in Australia.
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tells the media the Federal Government will abolish the 457 visa program that allows skilled foreigners to work in Australia. LUKAS COCH

AUSTRALIAN Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's announcement earlier in the week he was scrapping the 457 visa program has caused a stir in farming industries.

NSW Farmers board member Paul Shoker said he was disappointed by the lack of consultation and the delivery of the policy change, announced on Facebook on Tuesday.

Mr Shoker said workers on 457 visas had played a vital role in covering skill shortages within farming.

"While we would prefer to have local workers, it is not possible all the time,” he said.

"There is a proven shortage of skills.”

Mr Shoker said skilled positions ebbed and flowed in accordance to seasons, so it was not always possible to immediately employ Australians.

He said the agricultural industry was partly to blame as there was not enough promotion.

Mr Shoker said more was needed to be done to encourage would-be farm workers to remain in the regions by showcasing the possibilities, adding that not every farm job was "back-breaking work”, including the roles of mechanics and agronomists.

Mr Shoker said robotics would also play a major part in farming in the future, opening further options for skilled workers.

Mr Turnbull trumpeted the visa program change as putting Australian workers first.

"We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians,” MrTurnbull said.

The 457 visa replacement program will cut almost 200jobs previously covered by 457 visa job demand.

Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan echoed the sentiment of the Prime Minister and said Australians must be given priority for jobs.

"Foreign workers add value to our nation and our local community, but that can't come at the expense of Australian workers,” MrHogan said.

Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said the visa policy change would couple well with the changes to citizenship requirements and increase public confidence in Australia's immigration and visa systems.

According to the Department of Immigration's latest figures, there are about 209 people holding subclass 457 visas in postcodes covering the Cowper electorate.

Topics:  457 visa agriculture cowper electorate farming malcolm turnbull page electorate



Ghosts win but coach not happy

Winger Joel Moss scored four tries for the Grafton Ghosts in the 46-14 win over Bellingen Valley-Dorrigo.

A 46-14 win would please most coaches but not Danny Wicks.

Bypass announcement won't be in next budget but ...

Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker believes an announcement on funding for a Coffs Harbour bypass will be of such a large scale that it warrants the Prime Minister making it rather than simply being a small piece of a Federal Budget reveal.

Hartsuyker said bypass announcement is too big to be made in budget.

Rally Australia tops WRC's social media rankings

The Kennards Hire Rally Australia has passed the 275,000 followers mark on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, making it number one of all the World Rally Championship events.

Coffs Coast's WRC event has greatest social media following.

Local Partners

Bypass announcement won't be in next budget but ...

Cowper MP doesn't expect Federal Budget to reveal funds for a Coffs Harbour bypass. But that doesn't mean the money for the job isn't there.


Patti Smith: the mother of punk gave Jim Morrison his wings

Patti Smith at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay.

One of the most exhilarating performances in recent Blues history

UPDATED: Patti Smith donates large sum for flood recovery

Patti Smith at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay.

The artist performed two shows at Bluesfest 2017

Bluesfest Day 2: From Jason Momoa to Mary J Blige

Hollywood star Jason Momoa was happy to interacts with fans backstage at Bluesfest 2017.

Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon gave the festival a Hollywood touch

Amber Heard, billionaire Elon Musk in Queensland

ACTRESS Amber Heard’s billionaire boyfriend Elon Musk has finally been spotted out and about in on the Gold Coast.

Dave Hughes almost went too far in Logies monologue

Dave Hughes skewered the A-list in his opening monologue

Mackay lawyer dishes on MKR behind the scenes

Della Whearty from MKR.

Mackay lawyer talks her My Kitchen Rules journey.

Movie review: Going in Style a grey-powered crowd pleaser

Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine in a scene from the movie Going in Style.

The tale of three men and a mobility scooter a tad formulaic.

Logies 2017: Meldrum's odd speech as Samuel Johnson wins Gold

Samuel Johnson shows off his Best Actor gong before going onto win the Gold.

Samuel Johnson named Gold Logie Winner of the 59th Annual TV Week Gold Logie...

Logies 2017: Who's taken the coveted gongs?

Kerri-Anne Kennerley poses with the Hall Of Fame Logie Award.

Award winners from Australian television industry's night of nights

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

What dodgy real estate ads really mean

This dilapidated house was described as an ‘Edwardian timber home, open to your imagination’. That’s a nice way of putting it.

Real estate writing is just outsourced lying, says one writer

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!