Australia's Immigration Minister foreshadows changes to foreign worker visas that will make it easier to penalise breaches of the rules. The government says not all bosses are looking to employ Australian workers first. The federal opposition says it is open to changes, but has accused the government of using overblown rhetoric when discussing foreign workers. Australia's Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor has foreshadowed changes to the foreign worker visa scheme that will make it easier to penalise breaches of the rules. Mr O'Connor has previously suggested there have been 10,000 cases of 457 visas being rorted, although he later said it was just an estimate. The Australian Government is expected to announce new measures this week to ensure businesses are employing local workers before bringing in overseas staff. Mr O'Connor says not all bosses are looking to employ local workers first. "The penalties are in place, but they've rarely been imposed because there has been an inability to compare what is happening as opposed to what's written on the application form," he said. Mr O'Connor says there are other ways to provide labour to sectors of Australia's economy. "The holidaymaker visa and student visa are also important ways to provide labour to certain regions and to certain sectors," he said. "The 457 visa scheme, the temporary skilled scheme, is an essential part of those initiatives, but it must be one that maintains integrity. "It has to be a scheme that genuinely responds to shortages in our economy and genuinely delivers on real jobs that are needed." Federal Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek says it is a real problem that some employers are looking offshore. Source: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=235906
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