Ban bid un­der at­tack

The Cairns Post - - NEWS -

LA­BOR is set to spark a mas­sive pre-elec­tion war with farm­ers over a “dan­ger­ous” union pro­posal to dis­man­tle work­ing hol­i­day visas which threat­ens to “crip­ple” the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

The Aus­tralian Coun­cil of Trade Unions is try­ing to pres­sure Bill Shorten (above) to re­view the scheme with a view to ban back­pack­ers work­ing for a sec­ond year and put fur­ther re­stric­tions on work in the first year.

Op­po­si­tion im­mi­gra­tion spokesman Shayne Neu­mann re­fused to rule out back­ing the pro­posal and said the num­ber of tem­po­rary visa hold­ers in Aus­tralia with work rights was “too high”.

The Na­tional Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion la­belled the de­mands “ill-con­sid­ered, ill­con­ceived” and warned politi­cians against act­ing on it.

“The en­tire sec­tor would mo­bilise to voice its out­rage and de­spair if the pro­gram was to be scrapped without adopt­ing re­al­is­tic al­ter­na­tives,” NFF gen­eral man­ager Ben Rogers said.

Mr Rogers said farm­ers re­lied heav­ily on back­pack­ers.

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