Business

Business fights back over 457 visa changes

CONCERN over sudden changes to rules governing visas for skilled workers appears to be divided along town and country lines.

The alterations to the 457 visas - announced by Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor on Saturday - mean bosses must show there is a "genuine shortage" of skilled labour forcing them to look beyond Australian borders.

Those coming from overseas to fill these roles must now be more proficient in English.

The Federal Government has come under increasing pressure from unions nationally about allowing 457 visas when there suspicion that Australian workers are being overlooked.

In parts of regional Queensland, these 457 visas are used to plug holes either in or caused by the booming mining industry.

Even fast food restaurants are occasionally forced to consider using foreign workers.

Queensland's Chamber of Commerce and Industry is on the warpath, viewing the government's changes as "anti-business".

General manager for advocacy Nick Behrens said these workers were most needed in healthcare, construction, mining, then food services and accommodation.

"What the Federal Government does not understand is that for states like Queensland, we continue to experience skills shortages in many professions across the state."

Regional businesses in regional Queensland are struggling to access a suitable workforce for their needs.

"The reality is, even if you trained the people, the competition means they would be trained and they would go across to the resources industry for the higher dollars."

But the Queensland Farmers' Federation said the changes made little difference to its primary producing members.

A QFF spokesman said the skills shortage was serious in rural areas, but those in agriculture had substantial proof to show it needed the foreign hands.

On Sunday, Minister O'Connor said the changes were to fight those rorting the legislation and discriminating against Australian nationals keen to do the work.

Topics:  457 visas, agriculture, skills shortage




Prestigious award for the best burial crypt in town

FE Marsh & Co has won an award for their work on St Carthage's Cathedral, which included the construction of a new 12-vault burial crypt beneath the floor.

Awards for fancy pools and underground crypts

Star photographer's starring role with the lens

NOMINATED: This image from Northern Star photographer Marc Stapelberg have been nominated in the NRMA Kennedy Awards.

Our very own snapper is a finalist in a major award

Less than 48 hours left to get yourself a FREE tablet

Only two more days to get one of these free!

ONLY two days left to score yourself a FREE Samsung tablet.

Latest deals and offers

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Have a Stoli Bolly and let's go darling!

THEY ARE BACK: Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

Absolutely Fabulous, The Movie hits the screens

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started