Red meat producers speak out on 457 visa
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.”