03 July 2008

Senator Evans welcomes crackdown on mistreating Australian visa holders

Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, has welcomed the move to crack down on a company for mistreating Australian visa holders. One Victorian packaging company has been fined AUD$100,000 for exploiting migrant workers, who are on a temporary Australian visa.

Two of the visa holders complained about the way they were being treated and the country was fined for failing to provide structure, instruction, training and supervision in the correct language. Senator Evans said: "This penalty should send a strong reminder to all employers that our health and safety laws apply equally to migrant workers as they do to Australian workers."

It follows news that the Rudd government plans to give holders of temporary Australian visas better working conditions. Employers now found to be mistreating these workers could face up to ten years in jail and a fine of AUD$110,000. Senator Evans said "the exploitation of migrant workers will not be tolerated".

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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