BUSINESS groups have warned the federal government against tightening the 457 visa scheme for temporary overseas workers.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor said on Saturday that the 457 visas will be changed to ensure they are only used to address genuine skills shortages and that local workers are getting a ”fair go”.
But the resource industry employer group, the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), says the government should take a cautious approach to making any changes.
AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said the overseas skilled migration program played a small but important role in the resource industry.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox argued the 457 program was an economic shock absorber and should have the flexibility to meet rises and falls in demand.
He added that the program needed freeing up and not further tightening.
February 25, 2013