Australia is trading away control of its borders

By Leith van Onselen

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed that the Turnbull Government’s curbs on temporary overseas labour will not apply to existing free trade agreements (FTAs). Dutton says the FTAs in question are those with China, Japan and South Korea. From The AFR:

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Thursday that the FTA’s, which essentially waived requirements for local labour market testing before a foreign worker was brought in, could not be renegotiated…

Mr Dutton said the existing FTAs would be exempt.

“Exemptions existed and we abolished that obviously. We said yesterday there would be mandatory testing in relation to the short-term and long-term stream but there will be adherence with our free trade agreement. So that’s a statement of the obvious,” he said…

Shadow trade minister Jason Clare said the government could also waive labour market testing in its FTA negotiations with the United Kingdom, India and the 16-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

“It could potentially mean up to three quarters over overseas workers are brought in without seeing if there’s an Australian who can do the job first.”

Seriously, how stupid is our government? It has negotiated control of our temporary migration system, in turn eroding the sovereignty of our borders and diluting wages and working conditions – all for slightly improved market access. It also highlights why labour should never be included in FTAs to begin with – FTAs are for trade and trade alone.

The only silver lining is that while the government cannot fully control the skilled temporary migration system, it does still control the permanent migrant intake, and it can determine who gets to stay in Australia for the long-term:

If the Coalition and Labor cared about the living standards of the Australian people, they would cut the permanent migrant intake to the level that existed prior to the turn of the century (roughly 90,000 from 200,000 currently) and take the pressure off housing and infrastructure in the major cities, as well as reduce the downward pressure on wages.

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Comments

  1. proofreadersMEMBER

    “Seriously, how stupid is our government?” UE – “PM” Dutton seemingly answered that one for you: “So that’s a statement of the obvious,” he said”.

    No wonder, no Strayan FTA has apparently ever had serious prospective or retrospective light of day shone on it, as otherwise the game would be up.

  2. This is why there are issues with FTA with India. Can’t say yes to China, Japan, Korea and no to India without drawing attention to R word.

  3. This is good news as trading away control of borders can help increase profits for business! Thankfully the people of Australia are too busy and distracted by TV shows, porn and social media to give a shit about this and revolt. Imagine the chaos if people didn’t have such joy to keep themselves occupied. Phew!

    • You think you’re good or something m8? Only nerds read the news and give a stuff about shit.

      Oh you are you’re a big sexy property investor!

  4. proofreadersMEMBER

    More fake government by probably the best yet? So much for “jobs first, Australians first, Australian values”, whatever those ephemeral notions might be?

  5. Shouldn’t that read “widely known for his PC leftist and SJW beliefs, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, has confirmed that the Turnbull Government’s curbs on temporary overseas labour will not apply to existing free trade agreements” ? 😀

    • You need to add “vegan, tree-hugging, latte-sipping Greenie” if you want to be accurate.

    • Where does Dutton say ‘Xenophobia’ or ‘racism’. Deflecting, inaccurate, rationalising, whataboutisms, really earning the insufferable tag.

  6. F-ing stupid retards.
    These guys are like Wyle E. Coyote persisting with their BS well past their ability to spin its horrible impacts.
    If you do not control the your boarders you will get punished. Brexit, Trump, Le Penn….

  7. Ronin8317MEMBER

    So India just have to sign a FTA and WHAM, it’s as if no change to 457 ever took place.

    W.T.F????

    With this government, expecting them to do ANYTHING RIGHT is impossible.

  8. “Dutton says the FTAs in question are those with China, Japan and South Korea”

    Interesting admission from Dutton given that this throws Abbott under the bus somewhat. Those 3 FTAs are just about the only “positive” thing that Abbott did as PM.

  9. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    “Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Thursday that the FTA’s, which essentially waived requirements for local labour market testing before a foreign worker was brought in, could not be renegotiated…”

    Why can’t it be renegotiated​?
    What would happen if we did reneg?

    Put it to a fucking Referendum!
    Sovereign Risk?,…Pffft,…Fuck off!