Federal Member for Calare, Andrew Gee has welcomed the announcement that the Subclass 457 Visa program for foreign workers will be scrapped and replaced with a new temporary visa restricted to critical skills shortages. 

Mr Gee said the current 457 Visa arrangements were extremely broad and that the system was well overdue for reform. 

“These changes will guarantee that Australian workers are given first priority for jobs, while also ensuring tighter English language requirements, mandatory criminal history checks, a market salary rate assessment, a new two-year work experience requirement and mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions,” Mr Gee said.  

“Additionally, the new visa will be underpinned by more focused occupation lists that better target skill shortages, particularly in our regional communities.   

“The approved occupation list under the 457 Visa is awfully broad listing occupations such as zoo keepers, turf growers, goat farmers and even stock and station agents.  

“While there is no doubt that foreign workers have played an integral role in the growth of our nation, it should not be at the expense of Australians looking for work.”  

Mr Gee said implementation of the new visa will begin immediately, with full implementation to be completed by March 2018. 

Full details on the new visa and an explanation of transitionary arrangements for current 457 visa holders and applicants is available on the Department’s website at www.border.gov.au/trav/work/457-abolition-replacement