19 August 2008

Nurses urge temporary Australian visa overhaul

Nurses are urging the Government to overhaul the temporary Australian visa scheme (subclass 457) after an incident involving three workers. According to the Age, three Filipino employees were struggling to afford food, leading to their employer being fined.

The three nurses were working on temporary Australian visas in a nursing home when the exploitation occurred. The actions have led to Ged Kearney, the Nursing Federation's president, telling the publication the scheme should be overhauled.

She said a permanent Australian visa should replace the temporary visa to avoid misuses. Michael Campbell, the Commonwealth's Workplace Ombudsman executive director, told the publication: "There were times when these vulnerable workers did not have enough money to put food on the table."

The number of people applying for a temporary Australian visa increased by a quarter in 2007-08, to over 58,000 applicants. According to the Australian, it rose from 46,700 people the previous year.

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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