Do-nothing Malcolm does something: Scraps 457 visas

From Do-nothing Malcolm:

This won’t be enough to win back One Nation voters or silence Tony Abbott but it’s the thin end of the wedge.

What an idiot is Labor. Now it is outflanked on its core values. It should immediately begin a labour market reform bidding war or, as the Coalition steadily ramps up to big immigration cuts, it will face a real threat to its electoral prospects.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Stephen Morris

    I suspect this will be a cosmetic change only.

    Precisely how much “labour market testing” will be required before a company is allowed to recruit an experienced overseas worker rather than training an Australian.

    It is the lack of local training which is the real issue.

    It will always be easier to pick someone “off-the-shelf” who has already been trained overseas rather than putting the time and money into training locals

      • Then kiss the economy good bye.

        Its one of the only things still feeding the housing market – Commodities are going / gone, Chinese are going / gone, interest only specufestors are going / gone.

        Now it makes sense as to why they are so desperate to get first home buyers back in the gig – this puppy is cooked – korean style.

      • @Graham


        The property investors. The property investors! Won’t someone think of the property investors?

      • ceteris paribus

        Yes, this could be the start of Malcolm’s Tampa electoral play. Notice that he employs a plausibly deniable PC code in his announcement to the effect that Australia is a great multicultural society. No doubt he will continue with this rhetoric. But if he begins to crimp immigration through other measures, it will become abundantly clear to the electorate what he is selling. If this strategy works and wins him the next election though, it will be straight back to big Australia, big business and big money.

    • Peter Dutton is the minister responsible – what is intended as a cosmetic or minor change could turn into anything at all, including a sudden halt to all skilled immigration.

      Edit: Every news outlet has ‘more to come’ underneath their coverage, making me suspect they thought of this last night, had the presser this arvo, and will figure out what they’re actually going to do over the next six to twelve months. Maybe they’ll wait for the Australian’s coverage tomorrow and over the next few days to point them in the right direction.

    • Lots of trained people but they are ignored in preference to experienced people with similar (or in many cases pretend ) training and of course the employer can buy cheaper in the short term.. TAFE and its outsourcing is both a deliberate scam and a farce only the LNP could have dreamt up.

      • It makes me mad what’s going on at Tafe, what was once a great institution is being gutted and defunded.

    • I’ll wait to see the details.
      A change in name is no change at all, but if Do Nothing is really serious, he’ll do something similar to Finland and introduce a mandatory minimum high wage ($90K p.a. in Finland) to ensure that businesses acquire workers in areas with a true shortage. Also would increase the incentive to train locals.
      I can’t help but feel a little cynical about this announcement, but it will certainly grab attention and call Shorten short.

    • Mr Turnbull said 457s would be replaced by “a new visa that better targets skills shortage” and will be much more tightly targeted.

      ummm????? 457’s couldn’t be policed….just sayin’

    • It will always be easier to pick someone “off-the-shelf” who has already been trained overseas

      Only if the Indian and Chinese workforces expand quicker than Australia’s, and their wages increase no quicker than Australia’s.

      • Stephen Morris

        “. . . their wages increase no quicker than Australia’s.”

        The actual condition is “their wages are less than than Australia’s”.

        For the prospective employer, there is a saving in training costs.

        For the prospective foreign-sourced employee, there is a higher wage (and other benefits of living in Australia).

        The rate of increase in foreign wages is irrelevant unless and until foreign wages catch up with Australian wages (adjusted for other benefits of living in Australia) or Australian wages have been depressed to foreign levels . . . which for the owners of capital and their political Mates may be the object of the exercise.

      • From the point of view of the employer, only if management time is negligible, which is dubious.
        From the point of view of he employee, only if moving half way around the world costs nothing financially and emotionally, and requires little effort, which is clearly rubbish.

  2. The music sounds like kindy music. There there, daddy still loves you. I’d prefer death metal. Fok!

  3. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER


    Labor had better pull their finger out.
    I did note, from the Australian,

    “So the 457 visa will be replaced by a new temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the best and the brightest in the national interest,” Mr Turnbull said.”

    So a new 45,…8 Visa?
    Mmm,. lets see just what changes are really being proposed.
    Could be another bait and switch,…we shall see.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Indeed. Sounds like they’re scrapping the 457 visa to replace it with a properly policed (LOL j/k) 457 visa.

      Presumably this ‘cut’ will be used to justify an increase in SIV visas for property investors. 😉

      • Should be a crack up, like the foreign buying crack up. Designed to ensure prices only go up!

    • Ok so now we see he has not done anything other than a comsetic name change.
      So rampant exploitation of this new visa may now begin.
      FFS. What does it take to get real action.
      Of course the Chinese will still be able to import all thier cheap labor for projects under the FTA.

  4. 457 to be replaced with by new visa with “tougher English test”? Sounds to me it’s targeting a certain race group. I say get rid of this visa class altogether. Can’t stand those backpacking poms any more than those from non-English speaking backgrounds.

    • Why wouldn’t you target a certain race/cultural group if that race/culture is speaking your language? Seems like common sense..

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Come on Reusachtige!

        I would have thought you’d be more than welcoming of an influx of beautiful looking Aristocrats from the mother Country.
        That is an image of your handsom good self, above, is it not?
        What are you afraid of?

      • He has to apply for his money, his foreign mates just steal it and bring it over. Jealousy!

  5. What about the other exploited subclasses of Visa (485 Temporary Graduate and 476 Skilled Graduate)? Both need looking at.

  6. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Good if it works but given the rorting in our overall immigration system this will be window dressing ……….457 abolished ….replaced with a new visa …replaced with a new rort …….we have totally lost it on immigration and the whole system needs review …..not just a corner if it …….and it needs to be deprivitised and put back as a government operation not a source of profit for shonks ……..can’t see that happening though….

  7. the_bystanderMEMBER

    It’ll probably be a token change that has no serious effect on immigration levels or foreign worker exploitation, but now Labor and Shorten need to pull their finger out and offer something better to voters. If they don’t present a more effective policy (or worse, play the racism game to appeal to the inner city base) they may as well start preparing now for yet another term out of power.

    • Plus a few months of limbo as everyone gets up to speed and reapplies? Papers examined twice. A bit unnerving for those gaming the system.

    • That’s the genius of it. Little actual change but the big bad 457 monster who is stealing your job and pushing up the price of houses is slain.

      • My guess is most of the electorate would see it that way even if there was substance to it, so it will do little to change Turnbull’s approval ratings or electoral chances.

        No need for Shorten to do anything more than send off a predictable tweet, and he’s already done that.

  8. He sure does. String us along for a few more years until the evidence is undeniable that the new visa class is just as rorted as the old 457, then create yet another temporary skilled visa category. Rinse and repeat.

    Edit – meant to reply to Ortega

  9. proofreadersMEMBER

    And while Do-nothing is at it, why doesn’t he reverse the arrangement that he sanctioned last year as a “gift” Xi Jingpeng, whereby children as young as 6 could apparently buy Strayan residential property?

  10. I think MT/LNP could be testing the water with this one – implement, see how the Newspolls go. Then gradually increase the restrictions, curb immigration even. And as HnH suggests, if Labour doesn’t wake up to what is happening, it will get wedged and fuc*ed. And don’t forget Shorten was Minister for Employment when 457s were brought in. Plenty of political mileage to be made in blaming him for the shit mess while cleaning it up.

    • …or they could just do like they did with the FIRB “crackdown” and continue the sham.

  11. It is about shutting Abbott up. Except it now looks like Abbott is driving policy (Catch 22).

  12. What’s the meat to this? He’s announced only rhetoric.

    Is he going to fix the 457 like he did the NBN?

    Some will get gold class (i.e. multi-nationals will get to immigrate all the staff they want)

    Others will get copper.

  13. Don’t trust him or his party. Welcome to the new visa same as the old visa. However, it is an interesting development in the kabuki theater.

    • I had written a whole post-full of gag gags (jokes), and then, on re-reading, realized you wrote “kabuki” and not …eerrr… the other thing.

    • +1 He won’t actually do anything, that’s the way he operates (or not). A name change, some waffle, and they’ll still pour in maintaining the no wage-growth the LNP strive for. Labor are even worse, traitors to the workers of Australia. They’ll no doubt have their dubious reasons why any moves in this direction are bad, probably resorting to calling the LNP racist or extremist.

    • Just been reading a few of the MSM takes on this. Already many blurting about how minor 457 visa’s are. Claims of less than 1% of the workforce, some 95000 jobs currently (supposedly).
      But I’m wondering – the articles also state that until now 457 visa’s have been a pathway to PR (after 4 years). So doesn’t that mean that all previous 457’s (that made PR) must be missing from those quoted numbers?
      ie what are the total number of 457 visa’s that have already turned permanent?
      Looking like a close the gate/horse that’s bolted situation.

      • Should mean a very slight dip in NOM, as the number of temps on 457s present in the country declines (easily able to be eclipsed by a rise in students or this new visa though). Number of permanent visas issued should stay roughly the same – just a slight change wrt whether they are issued on-shore or off-shore.

      • Read that too, general consensus appears to be much ado about nothing. The upside is those Conservative fuckwits Hanson and Bernardi were quick to claim the changes were forced by them. Awesome, you forced Turdball to do what he does best; nothing. Clowns.

  14. obvious cynical reservations aside, this is a step in the right direction though and shows the winds are charging against the official state cult of immigration . take out the fraudulent education visa programs (aka immigration backdoor) and working holiday visas next and then we’ll talk malcolm.

  15. Interesting to see how its reported in the UK and India (i.e the two countries that use them them the most)

  16. reusachtigeMEMBER

    This is an election losing strategy. Business require 457 visa workers to help keep down local wages so they won’t be happy. They’ll probably vote One Nation because of this thus boosting Pauline’s popularity even more!

    • Businesses might have to employ people without putting them through the wringer and stripping them of their humanity in the process like they did in the old days. Bloody plebs don’t they know that working your entire life and commuting an hour or more each way is a privilege. Plus cultural enrichment on the packed to the gills public transport on the way in. FFS.

  17. All this means in real terms is I have to waste half an hour adding a new visa code into the system I look after and take out the 457. I guess I should be happy about that, it could be a 458 doing it instead of me. 🙂

  18. Good call H&H. Thin edge of the wedge and you guys have been the only ones anywhere who saw this coming. Watch the Kouks, Olivers etc of the world follow, just like they have on property warnings.

  19. So should we assume the old 457 Visa system didn’t put Australian’s first? Is that an admission it was broken? 😛

  20. Is the Coalition feeling the heat over lower wages? This will not be enough to stop the slide in the polls.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      What were the six agreements we signed?

      That can’t be good for us going by history.

      • Dunno – if you sign six separate pieces of paper agreeing to export more coal, does that count as six separate agreements?

      • Exactly. No coincidence that Malcom returns from India and announces this.

        IT Indian companies pull in a good chunk of India’s GDP, if anything Turnbull’s announcement today will be working in their favour.

        Infact I suspect the deal will be that Australian companies be enticed into hiring through Indian IT companies by red tape.

        Because it’s easier to manage if you shutdown the small dodgy operations and regulate the bigger ones, just like banking.

        Labour need to get there hands on these six contracts.

  21. I wonder what Engineers Australia will do? Will it also drive the 457’s that it so desperately wants to raise membership or will it follow the Department of Employment and Professionals Australia (APESMA) lead?

  22. Malcolm: Primeminister speaking, to whom am I speaking?
    BCA: Malcolm, this is the Business Council of Australia. What is this shit about scapping the 457s? You promised us slaves.
    Malcolm: Don’t stress boys, the slaves will still be available, we will just call them something else. Just some feed for the chooks. I need to get Tony off my tail asap.
    BCA: Thank fuck for that. You could have given us a heads up. Jeez mate these 7/11’s cant run themselves you know……although we are working on it
    Malcolm: Yeah sorry about that, ScoMo said I needed to move quickly, he said Hadley and the Parrott are are about to go tag team on me.

  23. I’ve seen it reported that the Trumpenator is about to release an EO to fiddle with the US H1B visa program, which is apparently just as corrupt and rorted as the 457 system. I believe he’s going to require minimum wages to avoid US workers being replaced by low wage foreigners.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      My son works for one of those big name US techey companies as a design engineer on a H1B visa ……I asked him if Trump would be turfing him back to Straya ( to become a barista or a real estate agent ) …………….he said the crackdown was mostly on “Indian body farms “……..hopefully we are taking the same approach and the genuinely skilled can still be gotten but our kids can go back to working at the servo or 711 and a few more IT grads might pick up some decent jobs …………..we can only live in hope …..

      • Given what’s come out about 7-11s, I’m not convinced I’d like my kid to work at one.

      • Don’t need to hire anyone. Make petrol prepaid only with credit card swipe/tap before filling up. All those crap you can buy inside the store, just shove them all in vending machines.

      • Where does a servo make its money – on petrol or on the stupid impulse buys at 400% mark-up bought along with the petrol?

        If vending machines are the way to go, considering they’ve existed for 40 years or something, why are 7-11s staffed at all?

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        I would argue that any job as a starter job for a kid is a good job …..and if the jobs at the servo or the 711 ( however long they last before vending replaces them ) were filled by local kids with parents who were half aware of the laws a bit vigilant and awake these businesses would not be able to exploit them to the same extent ……..
        ……kids do got to start some where …..and that design engineeer now earning big bucks once operated a checkout at Woolies and flipped burgers for maccas .
        The entry level jobs may change but they do serve a good purpose and should be made available to citazen kids where ever possible …… if this is a start to that ….good ……but I’ll believe it when I see it ….

      • My observation is that if the boss at your starter job wasn’t somewhat ‘on your side’, it interferes with your studies and strongly hinders, rather than assists your future career, whatever it is. As a parent, I’ll be trying to steer my kids clear of employers like 7Eleven.
        (also, as an employer, about to re-hire for a graduate position, I note I paid no heed to the ‘starter job’ section on the last batch of resumes I looked at)

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Smithy …..because when he was initially employed his employer got him a H1B …….must have been their process ( and we know how American companies like process)
        ….he could have cgphanged to an E3 but never bothered …….now his green card application in close to complete …..and hope fully he can get it before any thing changes in the system .

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Yeah, silly to change anything at that point.

        Employer probably didn’t know the E3 existed. A confused look was certainly the typical response when I went looking for work in the US 5-6 years ago.

    • Replaced all those sacked photographers and subeditors with a new 458 category NewsCorpse position.

  24. All the fuck it means is that we are possibly going to police “cab driver, et al “visas as we has Uber now! Oh, and a fucking election down the corner. Better call Uber!!!

  25. Turnbull met with Adani recently.. Does this mean the public will be hoodwinked and the ‘no 457 visas’ promises can now be kept while a replacement visa is used instead?

  26. It’s nothing but window dressing.

    We have 2.4 million Third World Migrant Guestworkers in Australia.
    Almost all unskilled and here on pretext visas of some form.
    1.95 million temporary visas, ‘students’, nz backdoor non NZ born, working holiday, bridging, partner and special visas. Almost all Asian or Indian or eurotrash or middle eastern slum clearance.
    Almost all with fake ID or pretext.
    30 year rural Indians or end of life Asian vice workers doing ‘8 year old English courses’ or ’14 year old diplomas’ avialbe free online or in their home country – given 4 year visas.
    Half the NZ special visas now non NZ born after doing the Auckland backdoor stopover.
    Working holiday where the farmers and labor suppliers take the bribes for the pretext visa stamp churn extension is now our biggest form of rural aid.
    Partners that are fake.
    Bridging visas on endless appeals or just blatant overstay or brought into work illegally as many visa pretexts as possible on long stay multiple year visas.

    Almost all working illegally, here only to be an anchor, snag a PR, bring in the rear of their health care & welfare burden.

    Then add 400k (ABF estimate) tourist visas (5% of 8 million) working illegally – nanny, cleaners, cooks, factories, rural work.
    Then add 85k overstayers.
    That’s 2.4 million.

    One in ten people here.
    One in 6 in the work force / most working illegally cash in hand and living illegally also in fetid slums of foreign owned bunk share – 400,000 ex Australian dewllknds now converted to housing the migrant guestworkers.
    91% concentration in Sydney & Melbourne.
    One million each – 1 in 5 people.
    Bring in only $3.8 billion as declared (and typically falsified funds).
    Form a $105 billion illegal labour underground and illicit labour market.
    Send back out of Australia over $36 billion in remittances and money xfer / laundering.
    Run a $25 billion illicit sub let cash in hand bunk and mattress share industry,
    400,000 ex Australian dwellings / foreign owned run by foreign criminal syndicates : with only a fraction of that income declared.

    We have 1.1 million Australians unemployed.
    We have 1.1 million Australians seeking work.
    We have 530,000 Australians seeking affordable housing.
    We have 65,000 Australian homeless – families on the street living in care or parks.

    And Malcom spins changing a visa category….

    • Mike,

      Although reading your post makes me dizzy and wonder if you were “chasing a dragon”, figuratively speaking, whilst assembling the data, I really tried to comprehend your post and figures.
      And I did start to buy some of it until…
      “Almost all working illegally, here only to be an anchor, snag a PR, bring in the rear of their health care & welfare burden
      that one is bollocks.
      No permanent residence is issued to those with chronic illnesses or those that are likely to otherwise become health care & welfare burden. Something that cannot be bypassed or at least not unless the doctor issuing false certificates accept disbarring and criminal charges.

      From your data, it seems that 2.4mil of “illegals” are matched by 1.1mil unenemployed residents and if the “illlegals” are halved we would have 0 unemployment.

      • Of the 2.4 million only 700,000 have full work rights.
        (Nz special visa or 457 & partners).
        457 & partners is heavily frauded / article.
        NZ special visa / half now on this visa are non Nz born coming in via nz back door : transit stop.
        Bridging visas heavily frauded.
        Student visas / bulk is 8 year old English ( or primary level plus foreign guardian can buy property) or 14 year old high school courses dressed up as non i trbstinsllh recognised diplomas.
        Working holiday & rural extension widely frauded with labor supplier / farmer kickbacks.
        Then at least 400,000 tourist visas multiple visit long drag here working illegally. ABF says 5% of 8 million.

        We have 2.2 million seeking work, of which 1.1 million are unemployed with youth unemployed (and as one root cause – the lack of investment or training destroyed by the international student racket).

        All these migrants lie about declared funds.
        Often it’s just self declared with no check or follow up – money as a loan from the criminal agent procurers or it’s in and out of the account for show.
        They come in heavily in debt and bondage to work / often multiple jobs fake ID, or underground or in vice. Do the sums – it’s say $800 a week to live in Sydney in a shared room bunk bed, phone, food, transport, course expenses and also repay their debt back – they can only work 20 hours a week and are unskilled no English / and the going rate in those jobs is $15-20 a hour ($400 week max).
        They only bring in $3.8 billion declared (total).

        Where is the money coming from ?
        And how is the money being earnt for the $36 billion in money transfer & laundering onshore to offshore including the $8 billion of actually tracked kiosk & wire services remittances that goes out ? (World bank 2016)

        Health care & welfare.
        Many of these checks are done offshore by agents and corrupted. Many don’t maintain insurance during their stay. Many just present to emergency health care.
        And a lot – many old or sick family reunion or sponsored clearly are getting Medicare cards because our medical centres and hospitals are choked full of third world migrant arrivals with chronic conditions that have never paid a $ tax here, can’t speak English at all and are basically our onshore contribution in world aid.
        Many lie about their immunisation status / for example Islam sharia and Taqiyya dictates Muslims lie or falsify vaccination to avoid it.

        And the elephant in the room / the MB overarching topic. Housing affordability. Prices & rents.
        Where TF do people think these 2.4 million migrant guestworkers all live ?
        They are half of all ‘renters’ in Australia (ABS says 4.8 million total).
        91% or over 2 million live in Sydney or Melbourne.
        98% live in ‘private shared accomodation’ code for bunk and mattress share hovels run by foreign criminal syndicates as gold mines of sub let cash flow.

        Let’s say 6 per dwelling paying $200 each (is often higher) that’s 400,000 EX AUSTRALIAN DWELLINGS now priced up from day $400-600 a week rent to $1,200 and often with 8 or 10 at $2,000 a week or else others landbanked to cash in the capital gain as building, streets and suburbs (residential houses are by far more profitable to cram migrants in to avoid building & council rules,. are now converted to migrant slumshare.
        It’s not hard to find, in fact its pretty hard to ignore.
        virtually most of the cbd and innner suburbs and now the middle & outer suburbs converted into high occupancy density migrant slums.
        ->That’s why a crappy old 2 bed unit in broadway or a run down old fibro box in auburn is selling for $800,000 – because the foreign born proxy owner can get $60,000 to $100,000 a year rental income with at least $40-60,000 of that as untaxed cash in hand sublet (plus negative gearing) in migrant guestworker housing not the miserable $25,000 they may get in ‘normal’ rental occupancy and usage.

        There’s your nutrient and bubble.

        Conversion of low end or normal residential housing into untaxed rivers of cash ($25 billion of which perhaps only $8-9 billion is declared) in foreign owned housing of migrants here on pretext visas working illegally.

        And Malcom changes a 457 category..

        My point:
        We need a full Royal Commission into the total scope of these visa rackets, and the economic & social impacts.

  27. Yep, panic policy on the run, enough to feed the media cycle for next 72 hours, and get the budget off the headline news as well.
    Australia needs 457 visa’s because we have allowed Governments, both State and Federal, to destroy the public education system. And those industries that use 457 visa’s, well that Management’s failure to develop and foster that talent, and to hold that talent.