16 November 2007

Calls for Australian immigration rules to be relaxed

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Australian immigration laws should be relaxed in order to attract more skilled workers, the head of one of the country's largest companies has said

Speaking to Australian broadcaster ABC, the chief executive of Woodside Petroleum, Don Voelte, said that a shortage of skilled workers was having a damaging effect on the country's economy.

A lack of workers, he said, was one of the reasons why Australian mining companies would fail to meet global production targets this year, and the obvious solution was to relax the country's relatively strict immigration laws.

"The rest of the world are willing to trade professions and jobs a lot more freely than maybe what some of the immigration laws here allow," Mr Voelte said in the television interview.

He urged the government to look at relaxing visa conditions, particularly in relation to the amount of sponsorship Australian companies were allowed to give, and the length of time workers could remain for.

Australia needs more skilled workers: Anyone interested in Australian immigration 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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