Australian Senate axed visa rules for offshore rig workers

australian senate scraps visa rules for offshore rig workersAustralian Senators on Wednesday July 16, 2014 axed a new visa regime that would allow the skilled migrants to be employed at the offshore rigs in the Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Australian Greens teamed up with Labor and the Palmer United Party to move the disallowance motion and the regulations were overturned in a vote. The Greens claimed that the temporary visas were allowing skilled migrants employed at the expense of Australian jobs.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash, however was displeased by the move and believed it will put the Australian jobs at risk.

“Labor senators knowingly placed thousands of Australian jobs at risk,” said Michaelia Cash. “The Australian Labor Party have quite frankly shown to the Australian people that they are economic vandals.”

Greens senator Penny Wright claimed that new visa rules were meant for the exploitation of the foreign temporary workers and employers could pay the foreign employees in the Australian waters as little as $1000 per month.

Penny Wright said, “This regulation would allow overseas workers to work for up to three years straight in the oil and gas zone without a visa that has Australian labour law as the legal basis underpinning their wages and conditions.”

Paddy Crumlin from the Maritime Union of Australia was also of the similar opinion and said, “It was there to bring in Philippino, Indonesian seafarers not on Australian wages and conditions.”

Australian Mines and Metals Association executive director Scott Barklamb blasted the senators for voting down the visa regulations. Scott said in a statement, “At the stroke of a pen … the Senate has thrown a significant number of Australian and international jobs into jeopardy.”

It is not clear that what will be the status of the foreign workers after the Australian Senate has disallowed the new visa regulations under which they were working on the offshore rigs in Australian waters.

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