Red meat pro­duc­ers speak out on 457 visa

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE FENCE POST -

LIVE­STOCK pro­ducer rep­re­sen­ta­tives have called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to con­sider the im­pact its plan to abol­ish the 457 visa pro­gram will have on the do­mes­tic in­dus­try.

Cat­tle Coun­cil of Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Howard Smith said ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional work­ers al­lowed the meat pro­cess­ing in­dus­try, which em­ploys more than 200,000 Aus­tralians, to over­come skill short­ages.

“In­dus­try has strug­gled to find do­mes­tic work­ers will­ing to un­der­take the pro­ces­sor-re­lated roles and has pre­vi­ously man­aged the skills short­age by ac­cess­ing ad­di­tional labour us­ing the 457 visa pro­gram,” Mr Smith said.

Sheep­meat Coun­cil of Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Jeff Mur­ray said the meat in­dus­try was al­ready fac­ing chal­lenges out­side of a do­mes­tic skill short­age.

“For the sus­tain­abil­ity of the en­tire red meat in­dus­try, with a pro­cess­ing sec­tor that is al­ready strug­gling with record en­ergy prices and reg­u­la­tory costs, it is cru­cial that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment care­fully con­sid­ers any labour mar­ket changes and the po­ten­tial im­pact on the in­dus­try’s in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness.”

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