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



No winter blues at this delicious festival

No Caption

Don't miss the Bar and Grill Festival.

Every child deserves a Strong Start in life

The NSW Government has announced greater support for young children, pre-school.

What's got the Coffs Coast talking?

An op-shoppers dream: Massive vintage sale set to begin

Vinnies staff Mark (front), Ruth, Vicki Ditchburn, Paula, Gale, Jan, Vicky Brennan, Nila, and Vicki Walker best in their best vintage and retro garb.

Massive array of vintage and retro gear on sale.

Local Partners

Pulse is rising for Jesse on organ donation list

At the age of 18 Jesse Vincent should be in his prime, but he is instead staring at the end of his life unless he receives a heart transplant.


Challenge for cyclists of all levels and ages

This year's C.ex McDonald's Cycle Challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6. You can ride in the the 10km family ride, 20km, 40km, 60km, or the 100km challenge.

This year's cycle challenge is being held on Sunday, August 6.

New developments announced for Curryfest

TASTE TREATS: New developments for Curryfest 2017.

Fresh ideas and developments show no sign of slowing down.

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Angelina Jolie 4.0: Is anyone buying this?

ANGELINA Jolie, master media manipulator, is back. But is anyone really buying Angelina 4.0?

Love The Bachelor and a feminist? Sorry, you can't be both

These 22 women trying to win Matty's heart... but at what cost? (Pic: Channel 10)

Tans will be sprayed. Roses will be distributed. Tears will be shed.

George RR Martin: Sixth book won't be out this year

Emilia Clarke returns as Daenerys Targaryen in the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which premieres only on Foxtel on July 17.

“I am still working on it, I am still months away..."

Mum spotted on Google Earth 18 months after death

A woman has spotted her mother on Google Earth - she died in 2015

What's on the big screen this week

A scene from the movie War for the Planet of the Apes.

AN ACTION franchise comes to its epic conclusion.

The Bachelor: Will farting be the key to Matty J's heart?

I don’t know what emotion this is.

MATTY J’s return as The Bachelor was sullied on the first night.

Razzle and dazzle them

HAVE A BALL: Midnight Drifters will be performing for the annual Razzle Dazzle Rockers Ball at Sawtell RSL Club this Saturday.

A show not too be missed

Hearty food for cold nights

Boneless lamb shoulder roast with crushed kipflers.

RECIPES: Two tasty lamb dishes to try this winter

How one man made more than $20m in a land deal

Varsity Lakes

Sale, with GST added, shows as a $26.4 million transaction

Holiday home crackdown

HOLIDAY: Short-term holiday letting is being scrutinised by the state government.

A holiday life-saver for some, neighbourhood headache for others

Tenant: Let me rent, I'll fix your property and pay for it

Noosaville tenant Tony Conyers thought his tenancy was guaranteed until 2035, so he spent his own money on the property. Now he's been told he may not be able to stay for even one more year.

Renter spent $30k on maintaining, improving property over 17 years