Senator Bob Brown today questioned immigration officials about Ta Ann’s use of 457 visas to employ 34 Malaysian workers as machinists, technicians and production managers at the company’s timber mill at Judbury in the Huon Valley.
The Immigration Department’s Kruno Kukoc said to comply with the skilled migrant visa requirements, Ta Ann only had to provide the same pay and conditions as it would for Tasmanian workers.
“Senator for 457 skilled workers, the legislation doesn’t require formal labour market testing,” he said
“So, as such, we don’t require employees to go through a formalised advertisements and labour market testing before they can opt for 457 skilled workers.”
Senator Brown says unemployment is high in the area and he can not believe there were not Tasmanian or Australian workers who could do the work.
“If they were in highly skilled jobs were there was simply no competence by any Tasmanian workers to take up then that’s one thing,” he said.
“But there are a lot of questions to be answered here about why Tasmanian machinists or engineering technicians or production were not competent to take up these jobs.”