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Dipstick Shorten, Seeks 457 Visa Crackdown

Dipstick Shorten, Seeks 457 Visa Crackdown

Labor leader Bill Shorten has joined US president-elect Donald Trump in calling for a crackdown on special visa systems that allow many companies– including technology outfits – to import guest workers from other countries, especially those in Asia.

What Shorten has failed to explain is where technology and digital engagement companies will get their staff from, considering his period in Government he failed to deliver people with the skills necessary to grow technology businesses in Australia.

Trump is proposing a crackdown on the USA’s HB-1 visa system which sees Indian – and many Australian – IT specialists flocking to US technology companies.

In Australia this week, Shorten introduced a private bill that would have much the same effect, putting new limits on Australia’s 457 visa program, which allows employers to import technically advanced workers from Asia and other areas and keep them here for up to four years. Some 95,000 temporary migrants are said to be currently in Australia under the program.

Shorten’s plan has also been criticised by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, who told Australian IT that a crackdown on 457 visas would damage the growth of the local tech industry.

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