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Read all the latest news from Brendan O'Connor MP


May 03, 2019

It has been revealed that Scott Morrison has signed a secret deal with the State Liberal Government in South Australia to undercut local jobs and wages – leaving Australian workers on the jobs queue.
The Regional South Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) struck between Scott Morrison and South Australian premier Steven Marshall means overseas workers on 457-style visas could be paid 10 per cent less than local workers.
Currently, overseas workers on 457-style visas must be paid a minimum annual salary of $53,900. This is an important safeguard that protects overseas workers from being exploited and local wages from being undercut.
Scott Morrison and the South Australian Liberals want to lower the annual salary to just $48,510. Why are lower wages always part of the Liberal’s plans?
Worse still, the Liberals are keeping the full details of the deal a secret. Which jobs does the deal apply to? Are they allowing overseas workers to do jobs that Australian workers could be doing? Have the Liberals waived strict labour market testing conditions?
Less than a month ago, the Department of Home Affairs revealed it was actively working on more DAMAs across the country – including Far North Queensland.
If the Liberals are re-elected, how many more secret deals selling out Australian workers will Scott Morrison sign?
This election is a choice between Labor’s plan to protect Australian jobs and wages, or the Liberals’ cuts, chaos and undercutting of local jobs.
Labor believes we should be encouraging people to move to regional areas – but it should not be at the expense of local jobs and wages by bringing in cheaper overseas workers on 457-style visas.
A Shorten Labor Government will increase the minimum annual salary of an overseas worker to $65,000. This will protect Australian wages from being undercut and ensure employers are not using overseas workers as a cheap replacement for local workers.
Only Labor has a plan to crackdown on 457-style visa rorts, ensure local workers are given the first shot at local jobs and invest in skills and training.
After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.