Norm Marlborough

Norm Marlborough

Former Minister for Small Business; Peel and the South West; Minister Assisting the Minister for Education and Training

    Vanstone heeds Marlborough's advice on 457 visas.

    31/10/2006 4:50 PM
     
    31/10/06

    The rights of Australian and overseas workers will be protected under a labour agreement drafted by the Western Australian Government and the Commonwealth.

    Small Business Minister Norm Marlborough, who is also responsible for State migration, said the agreement was a blueprint for Australia which closed the loopholes in the Federal Government’s skilled migration program and ensured that no workers were underpaid or exploited.

    Mr Marlborough spoke with Federal Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone early in October to express his concerns about the potential for exploitation of workers.

    “I reiterated to the Minister that the skills shortage should not be seen by some employers as an opportunity to bring in cheap labour,” he said.

    In particular, Mr Marlborough highlighted the need to address parity of pay and conditions, labour market testing and employees being saddled with unfair costs relating to relocating and accommodation.

    “I am pleased that following our discussion Ms Vanstone announced a $23.5million overhaul of the system,” he said.

    Mr Marlborough announced a labour agreement for International Exporters’ Gingin based abattoir, which would allow 12 overseas meatworkers for a six-month period, had now been signed by both the WA and Federal Governments.

    The assurances Mr Marlborough had insisted International Exporters agree to included:
    • a commitment to parity between Australian workers and 457 workers with an assurance that all workers would be treated equally irrespective of their origin;
    • International Exporters would be responsible for costs including;
      • the workers would be paid the same rate and terms as Australian workers; and
      • all costs of migrant workers’ recruitment, visa fees, initial travel to and final travel from Australia, public health (including insurance), public schooling and English language training to primary and secondary visa holders.
    • a commitment to provide the State Government with access to the salary and wage records for its workers upon request; and
    • a commitment to comply with all Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation requirements.
    “I would now like to see this agreement which we have worked through with a WA-based abattoir used as a benchmark for the importation of skilled workers nationally,” Mr Marlborough said.

    “I have also indicated to Ms Vanstone that the WA Government supports a National Agreement and is more that willing to work with her on it.

    “I have also stipulated that a clear guaranteed commitment to training Australian employees must be a high priority.”

    “I would like to acknowledge all the State Government agencies involved for their exhaustive work on this document which protects the rights of Australian and overseas workers.

    Minister's office - 9213 6500