Hawthorn, Victoria Australia (PressExposure) November 06, 2006 -- Labor and Tony Burke have again been caught out trying to mislead Australians in relation to the effectiveness of our temporary skilled migration (457) compliance regime, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Amanda Vanstone said today.
"Labor's claims that the strike teams I announced yesterday will be able to visit employers only on invitation are nonsense," Senator Vanstone said today.
"The fact is the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) has the capacity to conduct unannounced site visits, and does so where necessary.
"Tony Burke's ridiculous claim that DIMA won't be guaranteed inspection of company books suggests he doesn't understand the penalties associated with non-compliance with DIMA investigations.
"These include suspension of the employe's 457 visa sponsorship, and a bar from future sponsorship.
"The reality is most site visits will be by appointment because most employers are highly compliant. Even Tony Burke has today conceded that most cases are not rorts.
"Temporary skilled migrants are vital to Australia's ongoing prosperity, allowing business and industry to quickly fill skill shortages when and where they need particular skills, and so keeping jobs here in Australia.
"The overwhelming majority of employers using temporary skilled migrants do the right thing.
"However, the actions taken against Hunan and Aprint by my department and the Office of Workplace Services (OWS) working together demonstrate that 457 workers are protected under Australian law."
OWS has today announced the recovery from Hunan Industrial Equipment Ltd of more than $650,000 in wage underpayments to workers at the ABC Tissue plant in New South Wales.
DIMA had already issued Hunan with a sanction notice, barring the company for two years from making further applications for approval as a 457 visa sponsor, for breaches of its sponsorship obligations.
"My department will now consider the possibility of a further sanction, in light of the OWS findings that Hunan breached Federal workplace laws," Senator Vanstone said.
It follows yesterday's announcement that OWS had recovered $93,000 from Melbourne printing firm Aprint and initiated proceedings for underpayment of wages and unauthorised deductions.
DIMA has already issued Aprint with a notice of intention to sanction.
- Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs