The Abbott Government has commissioned an enquiry into the 457 visa program.
In relation to work, I met with the review panel recently. They listened, questioned and were open to a range of information, something I see as a strong positive for the end outcome.
The lack of an organised labour representative is obvious. I disagree with this approach by the government, however I do not believe the panel is ‘stacked’ as some have claimed in the media. I was unsure about this previously however the nature of the questions asked confirmed to me at least, the panel is interpreting “integrity” to encompass employers, migrants and standard working conditions.
Further, it is impossible to ignore media reports about those employers who choose to exploit migrant workers.
If you have opinions or thoughts about the 457 visa program, I would urge you to contribute a submission. You can find details and the terms of reference here: http://www.immi.gov.au/pub-res/Pages/reviews-and-inquiries/invitation-review-of-integrity-457.aspx
Submissions are due by April 30.
While the 457 visa has been subject to various reviews over the years, this should not put off thoughtful contributions. While the terms of reference seem limited, there are opportunities to work in broader considerations through creative interpretation.