Canberra – The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has expressed apprehension that the crackdown on 457 visa scheme could affect the reputation of Australians, especially those working abroad.
ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said the handling of the news on the visa scheme may send a wrong impression about how migrant workers are being treated in Australia and may have a reciprocal negative effect on Australians working abroad.
Anderson pointed out to the Singapore news coverage which connected the visa scheme changes to the return of a controversial Australian politician, which he said could threaten and damage the image of Australians, especially those who work in Asian countries.
ACCI added that the way the news on visa changes was portrayed has misinformed people about the real intention of the program. The group said this was worsened by the row among government officials.
The Australian government has announced implement restrictions on the 457 visa program last month following reports that some employers were violating the program by bringing in overseas workers at lower wages.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor said some of the violations include attracting and hiring workers abroad on high salaries for skilled jobs then demote them to do menial tasks at lower wages when they arrive in the country.