Committee for Adelaide demands slave wage migrants

By Leith van Onselen

Just when you though Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration settings couldn’t get any worse, we got the following from the Committee for Adelaide [my emphasis]:

Migration experts warn a new plan spruiked as driving population growth in South Australia is practically “problematic, risky and very costly” to local businesses because the government hasn’t got the policy settings right…

Committee for Adelaide member and prominent migration agent Mark Glazbrook told parliament “a successful migration program… needs to be based on demand and it needs to be based on the relevant industry settings” – something the proposed SA migration agreement was not…

He suggested the threshold salary for participants was too high, noting the existing minimum salary level for temporary skilled migrants was $53,900…

“That is above what a lot of people get paid in regional areas and in different occupations,” he said.

“If we were to see [that] increase to a higher rate, then it effectively renders a lot of the occupations that are within the DAMA inaccessible.”

He said a “big issue” with the SA plan was the lack of a clear pathway to permanent residency…

Yes, you read that right. The appallingly low $53,900 wage floor for ‘skilled’ temporary migrants is supposedly too high, even though it is $32,700 below the current average full-time Australian salary of $86,600, which comprises both skilled and unskilled workers.

Joanna Howe, Senior Lecturer in Law at University of Adelaide, explained the dire ramifications of this $53,900 wage floor in the recent book, The Wages Crisis in Australia:

This crisis has been precipitated by the federal government’s decision to freeze the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers since 2013… the government has chosen to put downward pressure on real wages for temporary skilled migrants, thereby surreptitiously allowing the TSS visa to be used in lower-paid jobs…

This salary floor is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). TSMIT was introduced in 2009 in response to widespread concerns during the Howard Government years of migrant worker exploitation…

In effect, TSMIT is intended to act as a proxy for the skill level of a particular occupation. It prevents unscrupulous employers misclassifying an occupation at a higher skill level in order to employ a TSS visa holder at a lower level…

TSMIT’s protective ability is only as strong as the level at which it is set… But since 1 July 2013, TSMIT has been frozen at a level of A$53 900…

This means that the TSS visa can increasingly be used to employ temporary migrant workers in occupations that attract a far lower salary than that earned by the average Australian worker. This begs the question — is the erosion of TSMIT allowing the TSS visa to morph into a general labour supply visa rather than a visa restricted to filling labour market gaps in skilled, high-wage occupations?..

Put simply, temporary demand for migrant workers often creates a permanent need for them in the labour market. Research shows that in industries where employers have turned to temporary migrants en masse, it erodes wages and conditions in these industries over time, making them less attractive to locals…

So the failure to index the salary floor for skilled migrant workers is likely to affect wages growth for these workers, as well as to have broader implications for all workers in the Australian labour market.

The Committee for Adelaide clearly wants to turn South Australia into a migrant slave special economic zone that is allowed to shred wages and employment standards with impunity.

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      • How did you get that idea?!

        Mark Glazbrook (Grey – Brook) is in it because he’s a trader, just following in the footsteps of a very similar business model that has always used traders. He might well have worked for ‘Arbuthnot and King’ in a ‘Back to the Future’ version of the ‘Committee for Adelaide’:

        “Europeans had fixed and stereotyped ideas about the best slaves…The Bristol trader Isaac Hobhouse used the agents ‘Arbuthnot and King’ to sell his slaves on the Caribbean island of Antigua.

        Our government has created an immigration industry for pen pushers and clerks who pick up kickbacks for moving people to Australia. Such people are opportunists riding the shirttails of a moribund economy that imports slaves for corporate profit.

        How on earth did our government privatise this capacity and allow large multinational PR agencies to help opportunists pretend that they are humanitarians? Everyone can see the disgusting self-interest and generation of corporate lobbying that circumvents the will of the Australian people who are not consulted about the future of their nation.

        Read Mark’s ‘professional’ history and weep:

  1. Even that $53k salary law is not worth the paper it is written on. The “skilled” immigrants hand back half of that $53k to their boss in cash.

    A massive tax is needed on every foreign worker. $52k/year tax. So that even if they hand back half of their salary, the worker is still costing the boss well over $52k/year. .

  2. Committee for Adelaide. Lol.

    Committee members are from Ernst & Young, Santos, some sleazy political lobbyist etc. I’d rather associate with and take advice from some of the hookers who work a few doors down from me. At least they ply their trade honestly, are subject to government regulation and don’t hide their business under fancy titles.

    These aresehats are not concerned with improving Adelaide, they are concerned with improving the profits of Ernst & Young, Santos, sleazy political lobbyists…

    Such transparent bullsh1t. They really do take us for fools.

  3. Number 658 on this list of lobbyists (below), Ernst & Young are one of the big commercial spin doctors based in New York. As everyone knows, the USA Congress is run by lobby groups and money to fund candidates and draft legislation for the rubber stamp. Everyone knows that this undermines democracy and one of the key forces that has allowed the USA to become a kleptocracy.

    In Australia, successive governments have opened the door to these scumbags who support multinational and globalised interests and attempt to sway elections and influence policy by obtaining greater access.

    Any interest group supporting migration agents and big business is totally transparent. A politician who takes money from such groups or sits down to discuss policy with them should feel the wrath of the electorate. As for Mark Glazbrook, he’s a parasite who makes a living from the legalised form of human trafficking that collusion between big business, government mass migration policy and an emasculated union movement has allowed. He’s a symptom of a sickness that runs very deep and feeds the large PR firms like Ernst & Young that inject their poison into nation states.

    It’s about time that the large multinational lobby groups were shown the door.