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News Media Releases UnionsWA stunned by Coalition immigration plans
UnionsWA stunned by Coalition immigration plans
Friday, 23 July 2010 16:08
UnionsWA is amazed at comments by Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison that the Coalition would seek to cut the number of skilled migrants allowed into Australia.

Speaking this morning in Canberra, Mr Morrison said the Opposition has promised to cut skilled migration and wants the Productivity Commission to determine an appropriate level.

"It is a very reasonable assumption to make, in advance of what work the Commission might do, that clearly we are going to have to throttle back," he said while campaigning in Queanbeyan.

This policy is in stark contrast with what UnionsWA believe’s is best for West Australia which is looking to position itself to make the most out of the next resources boom and also deal with the related skills shortage.

While the union movement’s peak body believes that the first priority of any Government should be to train up the domestic workforce, the last boom taught us that the local workforce will simply not be sufficient and that permanent skilled migration is preferable to using temporary migration under the 457 system.

“It is a stark admission that a Liberal Government is seeking a reduction in skilled migration when this has been a central demand by Employer groups for a number of years,” UnionsWA Secretary Simone McGurk said.

“I’d imagine that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) would be horrified by such a statement after being such a champion for skilled migration over the past few years.

“It’s disappointing that politicians are continuing their policy of scare mongering regarding immigration rather than attempting some sensible discussion regarding population growth and the state’s labour needs.

“Unions have always strived to have local young people trained with the necessary skills. We recognise there are still pockets of under employment in the WA workforce but when demand will outstrip the local labour market, it’s only sensible to encourage skilled migrants to make a home in Australia and contribute to the community as a whole.”

UnionsWA believes that rather than spending money on inquiries, Governments should be directing funds into training and apprenticeship programs and into the infrastructure of regional centres which will allow the acceptance of permanent migration.
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