Indian FTA to flood Australia with migrant workers

Trade Minister Dan Tehan is holding weekly talks with his Indian counterpart Piyush Goya regarding a proposed free-trade deal, with the aim of finalising an agreement by the end of 2022.

Tehan says a key part of the trade deal will be providing Australian companies with access to India’s large contingent of IT workers, alongside Indian student graduates.

From The Australian:

Mr Tehan said India, a tech sector powerhouse, could help fill the void, with the final free trade deal to help Australian firms “get access to the best human IT capabilities”.

“This will be a key part of the agreement,” he said.

“India also has a strong interest in their international students and around the area of post-study work rights, so that’s another area we are looking at.”

An Indian FTA must not include immigration clauses. Immigration is covered in Australia’s ‘Migration Programme’, and there is little sense in negotiating away control of our sovereign borders to another nation – and in the process diluting Australian wages and working conditions – for slightly improved market access.

FTAs should be for trade and nothing else. Leave immigration out these agreements.

Australia’s union movement and Labor need to push back hard against this deal, which would be unambiguously negative for Australian workers.

Unconventional Economist


    • Strange EconomicsMEMBER

      There is a shortage of underpaid IT salaries –
      as IT wages are half of bank labour costs, this is just a boon for the bank managers bonuss.
      Compare IT to the USA.

      There goes all the IT jobs for the local graduates in a year or 2. An Indian for half a graduate salary.
      Hope these dudes are putting their kids in politics and real estate rather than anything productive.
      Guess the other kids gotta study fruitpicking.

  1. Nick the GreekMEMBER

    i saw this and I’m glad you picked up on it. Migration deals as part of FTA’s between developed and developing countries are literally one way travel tickets. You won’t see Australians queuing up to migrate to India will you?

    Would there be any point having an IT education industry in Australia if employers could just source their needs from India – no doubt at cheap rates.

    Terrible sounding deal and should be killed ASAP.

    • Terrible for who? Certainty not the people putting the deal together nor the lobbying groups creating the agreement text for ministers to copy & paste.

      Again, let’s see what the the so called opposition / eternally ‘progressive’ side of politics has to say. Should be a fairly simple push back on the grounds of their fundamental domestic labour roots + the added progressive/ESG issue of stealing talent from developing nations….

      Alas, balance of probabilities suggests continued crickets or at best, a promise to ‘review’ a long ago signed non negotiable condition of the FTA should they take office.

    • “You won’t see Australians queuing up to migrate to India will you?
      You’re naive, my friend. Once the wage equilibrium between AU and IN has been established by our Lumpen Nazional Partei government
      you’d be lucky to land a job in India with one of their “tech-giants” like “Tech Mahindra”, “Infosys”, “Wipro”, “Tata Consultancy”, HCL…
      The “tech-giants” without a single product between them. Plenty of sweat shops, though.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Yep. Why would you bother studying IT in Australia unless you were intending to go to the US to work?

    • Snotty Millenial

      Thats the first (and laziest) method of depressing wages

      The second is actually brining them here to compete directly with locals, which is the real killer.

      Anyone in IT or STEM should book the first plane to the US and forget about Australia. Our tech sector is stuck in the middle ages and theres no respect or consideration for technical excellence here. Follow the money

  2. An Indian FTA must not include immigration clauses. Immigration is covered in Australia’s ‘Migration Programme’, and there is little sense in negotiating away control of our sovereign borders to another nation – and in the process diluting Australian wages and working conditions – for slightly improved market access.

    Anyone familiar with pre-federation sentiment, what the White-Australia policy was designed to achieve and why it was the number policy of the ALP for over 70 years?

    All which is old, is new again….

    • Can we not bring in the race into this, please? It’s disgusting enough without racial connotations.

      • So OK, you’re one of the ignorant.

        The “White-Australia” policy as endorsed by pre-federation Labor (and post-Federation Labor all the way up to Calwell) was not about race.

        • Call me ignorant, not a problem. I don’t believe that running back to the past is the way of dealing with the issue at hand.
          What you’re referring to is dead, buried and cremated, for better or worse.

          • I don’t believe that running back to the past is the way of dealing with the issue at hand.
            What you’re referring to is dead, buried and cremated, for better or worse

            What you’re referring to is a fictitious myth of the past, you’re espousing things based on your ignorant bigotry and have shown you lack the maturity and knowledge to comment on what is an adult affair.

            You’re best placed being silent and observing your betters.

            Protip: it is tied up with The Nationality and Citizenship Act passed on January 26 1949, thus one has to ask themselves, what existed prior to this.

            “Why would this immigration act be tied up with ‘negotiating away control of our sovereign borders to another nation'”.

            Stop being vocally ignorant, your level of ignorance is dangerous.

          • Well since it seems like I’m one of the few who know what was being written pre-federation, I might be one of the adults in this topic.

            Which is why I asked

            Anyone familiar with pre-federation sentiment…

            It would have been better to have the first answer coming from an intelligent, educated adult.

            Instead, I got you.

          • You get what you deserve.
            We’ve heard plenty from you on the “white” issue, whether from Zimbabwe (sorry, “Rhodesia”), or from our glorious past.
            Some of us are interested in the future. Move on.

          • You’ve heard from me talk about “Rhodesia”, on MB, have you? This is up there with my comments on January 6th… your twits have got fantasy running in your head. Where its harmful is it’s acute form of blood libel.

            Please tell me (repeat back to me) my views on Rhodesia, please point to where I’ve discussed this. it sounds like it in the basket of “my views” on January 6th and Kyle Rittenhouse here on MB.

            My wife is Indian you clown, Tamil, thus very dark. My son wouldn’t be recognised as Caucasian with his complexion.

            You’ve been obnoxious from the very beginning and implying stuff which isn’t there, for no other reason you want social credit for ‘anti-racism’ credentials.

          • My wife is Asian, too (and kids half so). Does that somehow automatically make me a non-racist? It doesn’t.
            Keep workin’ on it.

          • And here we have it, thank you.

            My wife is Asian, too (and kids half so). Does that somehow automatically make me a non-racist?

            It does make it against my interests….. you think when I wake up in the morning, and my wife strokes her fingers through my hair, I reply with “F*ck off, we’re full” ?

            However, to have children makes it awfully difficult to reconcile with the concept of race being important.

            It doesn’t.

            How would you know?

            Keep workin’ on it.

            Working on what? Please tell me what I should work on.

          • “Working on what? Please tell me what I should work on.”
            I take that back. Clearly you’re perfect.

          • No, I tihnk it;s quite clear to filter this down.

            (make me) a non-racist? It doesn’t.
            Keep workin’ on it.

            When you add this fictitious view you have regarding my stance on Rhodesia, there is little mystery left.

            Have strength in your convictions, say what you want to say…

          • Look, I dunno if I tricked you (unintentionally) or if it’s a Freudian slip, but you’ve just typed “Rhodesia”.
            I could be misreading your posts (for a couple of years now), but I’ve been getting overtones which sound from another time and place.
            Of course, it could be just me…

          • Yeah.. where did I get Rhodesia from, sparky, look up…

            We’ve heard plenty from you on the “white” issue, whether from Zimbabwe (sorry, “Rhodesia”)

            You set the frame.

            So again, for the 3rd time, what are my views on Rhodesia? You’ve outright asserted I have these (some?) views, kindly expand on these.

            I could be misreading your posts (for a couple of years now), but I’ve been getting overtones which sound from another time and place.

            Or, you could be a woke f*ckwit who had has been programmed to jump on anything for the ‘race struggle’ to prove social credit… even where there is no racism there.

            Setting the frame of Rhodesia as a corollary only reinforces your intent.

            Of course, it could be just me…

            If I was a betting man, that’s what I’d wager

        • I'll have anotherMEMBER

          Lol. Then the title of the policy must be the biggest irony in Australian history.

          • Well there’s a reason it’s in inverted commas….. it may have something to do with it not being it’s official name, nor what it was designed to do.

      • Ghost of Stewie Griffin

        Why can’t we bring race into it? Because geldings like yourself are to weak and cowed into submission by politeness to admit that race does actually matter in respect of the manner in which societies are built, constructed and function around the world. It is an intellectual conceit that only urban professional cosmopolitans can afford, and hiding behind your Asian wife in order to shut down the discussion makes you all the more the coward.

        I like living among familiar faces, people with familiar customs. I don’t mind a little immigration and I have no issue with racial admixture, love is love, and good luck to all wherever they may find it. But at the same time, I don’t want to live among large populations of Indians, or Asians or Africans or any other racial group. They have their countries, continents and people – why am I asked to stand by and silently let mine dissolve out of politeness?

        I want to live among my own people, and know that my children will grow up safely as Australians without being persecuted for being white, which is increasingly the case either implicitly, through working diversity quotas, or explicitly, through outright violence committed against me because of the colour of my skin.

        Immigrants of other races that come here should do so on the basis and expectation that they, or at least their children and grandchildren, will eventually become white Australians – one people.

        Be proud of your heritage for sure, but white Australians, especially those of Colonial descent have a right to exist as a people and culture. Society deems Indigenous Australians as our new sacred cows, yet their role in the creation of everything we currently enjoy as Australians is miniscule compared to the contribution of early mainly white, Australian settlers.

        Human Bio-Diversity exists and it is best represented by the societies those groups build for themselves around the world. Existing Australians have a right to bequeath to their children the same sort of society they got from their parents…. without seeing it turned into another South Africa, Brazil or even one of the burnt out BLM riot torn US cities – the MultiCult dystopian future we are otherwise headed toward.

        • You feel the urge to bring up the issue of race into the foreign IT workers part of the FTA between AU and IN?
          Fine. Be my guest.

          • The approach on race you want Whites to take, in majority White societies, leads nowhere but the loss of group self-determination for Whites in the societies their ancestors invested in and built for them.

            You are so scared of racism, you would deliver the most harmful consequences possible on a race of people.
            And so what is that an example of?
            A person cowed by the establishment of rewards and punishments to get them to act so, and heapings of propaganda to enforce it. But don’t for a second confuse yourself that you are acting out of moral compunction, you aren’t.

            A moral stance on issues of race would outlaw racial replacement as a viable policy.

          • “don’t for a second confuse yourself that you are acting out of moral compunction”
            Thanks, I won’t. It’s not the “colour” that concerns me, but everything else.

      • Yes, this or any other so called FTA, especially with a large developing country, that provides work rights is a very good reason not to vote for LNP, even if Scomo & his gang were angels! They must really want to loose the next election (I would too if inflation & rates are set to rise with the massive mountain of debt the LNP have created & the massive rise in house prices & private debt. They’ll be able to blame Labor until the next election (lets hope DLS iscorrect & inflation will not persist towards year end.

        • You will find support for the FTA when it comes to a vote is bipartisan. They ALWAYS have been.
          Politicians do not serve the nation’s majority people, but other interests, on both sides, and inclusive of the Greens.

          If you want parties with any sense of serving the people of the nation, one has to look elsewhere.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Nah – just the relentless selling of the country down the river by the country’s best-ever managers – Scummo and mates.

  3. Jeez there are some obnoxious commenters here.

    Anyway, I just wanted to drop my obligatory “this is all Labor’s fault” in. It is definitely Labor pulling Tehan’s strings. The ghost of Deakin!

    • The ALP formed a great deal of their ‘federation view’ in the aftermath of the US civil war.

      Bob Carr has been, for lack of a better word, an ALP historian based on the roots of the ALP from pre-federation days, and part of his understanding, is why he is such a US Civil War fanatic.

      From a social and economic perspective, the Harvester ruling was core and central to their belief’s for equitable outcomes. SO much so, Lenin and Trotsky couldn’t figure out the lack of worker unrest in Australia.

      Many argue, and I agree with, the Harvester ruling is responsible for the historical lack of ethnic ghettos in Australia, and why it has the highest rates of intermarriage between new immigrant groups, and the prevailing population, in recorded history… or the ‘multi-cultural success’.

      The ALP defended against “negotiating away control of our sovereign borders to another nation” with The Immigration Restriction Act 1901, which is colloquially known as the White-Australia policy, buts its intent was something other than race.

      The reason Australia was susceptible to forces “negotiating away control of our sovereign borders to another nation” wasn’t resolved until The Nationality and Citizenship Act passed on January 26 1949,

        • The view the ALP party formed after the US civil war was due to existing wealth inequalities, exploitation would always occur where it could due to a power differential, unless a labour front would be strong enough to counter it. This culminated in the Harvester ruling of 1907.

          They added that this strong (enough?) labour front didn’t occur in the USA, because there was the added exploitation of workers based on race, namely black Americans. They viewed a class which was so prone to exploitation that they would be a permanent thorn in solving the ‘class conflict’. The minimum wage movement of Victoria mainly, particularly in the 1880’s and 1890’s, up to the Harvester ruling did a lot to suppress this, hence the confusion on the behalf of Lenin and Trotsky.

          The arguments of the post WWII era was the Harvester ruling offered a wage of dignity, so that even the non-English speakers which migrated, had the fiscal means to afford equal opportunity, which in turn resulted in the dearth of ethnic ghettos.

          So, where does this lie with he Immigration restriction Act of 1901, well up until January 26 1949, there was no such thing as Australian sovereignty. We were a Dominion.

          We did not travel on Australian passports, we travelled on British Empire passports. That was supposed to mean free(er) travel amongst all crown subjects within the entire British Empire and exclusion could not be based on this common passport, nor race.

          If you read the ALP writings pre-federation, with their viewpoint framed by the US civil war, they were absolutely petrified by the possibility of a large bulk of workers who were ripe for exploitation. This was shaped more by the reaction in the Union post 1865, than the confederacy pre-1865. So, did the British Empire have a class ripe for exploitation?

          Yes, India. Indentured labour of Indians was rife throughout the British Empire, with descendants found today in Fiji, Malaysia, Africa and the Caribbean for example.

          The ALP feared a plethora of lower castes undermining hard won IR reform, regarding lower caste Indians being too willing to accept lower wages and inferior working conditions.

          The “White-Australia” policy was written solely designed to exclude British Subjects in India.

          Many will see this as race, but it was the view of “cultural understanding of workplace relations.”, it was applied to many White immigrants too, notably Russia around the 1905 mini-revolution and their “gopniks

          You have to remember prior to this, Australia had waves of immigrants all over the worlds, including China, Japan, Afghanistan, many Pacific Islands and even Africa.

          The application of the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act was not based on skin colour, but the application of a “European” Language test. Again, carefully designed by the Labor party. They knew many Indians would be able to speak English, so they would be asked to speak Italian or Polish to pass the European language criteria.

          i.e. designed to fail.

          Who did they fear would undermine Australia if Australia(n workers) did act to protect their IR, rich people who tended to pilfer Australian wealth and return to the UK…

          They felt them as the greatest risk to “negotiating away control of our sovereign borders”.

          I don’t really care for Peter Hitchens that much, but in his defence of non-upper classes he has said “The rich don’t care, they can move elsewhere. The working classes cannot. They have to live with his”.

          This was essentially the ALP view at the time.

          Now for the modern day parable, about the fear of Indians being exploited in Australia….. I used to laugh when in the last decade of wage theft by the likes of Dominoes Pizza and the like.

          I would think to myself “Were the likes of Andrew Fisher so prescient they could see 110 years in the future”.

  4. Government IT depts already subverting the existing laws by filling existing roles with offshore WFH resources. This is achieved via consultancy firms. The difference being these are not discrete pieces of work that have been put out to tender. These are permanent roles that are being “temporarily” filled with “consultants”.

    • BoomToBustMEMBER

      The Vic Dept of education has a program in operation for 20 years where technicians are hired though 3rd parties, it’s basically a lesson in the government saying not to do something, then doing it themselves

  5. Seldon PlanMEMBER

    Mr Tehan says, “get access to the best human IT capabilities”, don’t we have access to India’s IT workers and businesses currently through off-shoring? Why would it be necessary to bring them here, surely that’s not cost effective.

    • Why would it be necessary to bring them here, surely that’s not cost effective.

      “negotiating away control of our sovereign borders ….”

  6. The BystanderMEMBER

    >Australia’s union movement and Labor need to push back hard against this deal, which would be unambiguously negative for Australian workers

    Yeah but anything short of wild enthusiasm for millions of foreigners coming into Australia to take low paid job with awful conditions is blatant racism. Anyone who doesn’t kowtow to the wonderful Indian IT workers coming to save us are as equally awful as those neo-nazis who organise far-right protests in Melbourne, and the whole lot of them should be shamed into killing themselves because Australians reject any harm that could occur to any person living here…/s

  7. India is a “tech sector powerhouse”, huh? So why is that all of India’s major tech companies are all just body shops? Where is India’s Samsung or Sony or DJI? Why is it that Indian companies are seemingly incapable of building tech products for sale and simply rent out marginally competent programmers at cut-rate prices?

    • What exactly are they going to promise international students i wonder? Aren’t they already entitled to stay here for 2-3years on graduate visas??

  8. blindjusticeMEMBER

    Mmmmn 1.3 billion in India, 25 million here. That puts the Australian population at 1.8% of theirs….

    Australia will be a different dimension in a short space of time

  9. “get access to the best human IT capabilities”.
    Finally! The last 10+ years I have been working with all the muppets from India.

    • kierans777MEMBER

      This time the “skills shortages” will be resolved and balance will come back to the Force /sarc

  10. Basically a lot more single Indian blokes who get their education on western women from 9ornhub, without understanding western women place at them bottom of the $exual market place.

  11. kierans777MEMBER

    Needless to say, this will result in worse outcomes for consumers/customers. But hey the Liberal donors will profit so it’s all OK.

  12. I remember starting in I.T in the late 1980s. There were a number of software houses in St Kilda Rd here in Melbourne. Skills and ability were valued by employers. Now I.T has changed into the cheapest option, usually outsourcing, where most decisions are dumbed down to a group decision with little or no accountability. I.T Employees have little or no understanding of the business they are supporting and hence invariably do it wrong.
    If I was a graduate today, I would not waste my time getting a degree in I.T
    Probably many other industries I am not familiar with which require intellectual ability have gone the same way.
    I feel very sad for the Aussie kids today who have been sold out by their parents generation.

    • Agree totally. I started a bit later than that, but have seen the same shift away from skills to just throw bodies at it. The real skill is taking the crap produced and making it work.

      • Exactly. And the irony is if employers got the right people and did it right to begin with, they would have saved a lot of money in both the short and long term.

        • Yep. I once did a project where all tech work was done in india. We wrote design documents, including the code changes and sent them offshore. We spent 2 weeks on the phone 8 hours a day explaining our changes and talking them through it. Then they would send it back broken and untested. From there we would open the code, paste in what we originally sent them in the design, test it and deploy it.

          That sh*t process was held up as a great success. They were cheap for a reason. Having said that i found the Indian women i’ve worked with have been disproportionately good. Worked with a couple of absolute guns, skilled and good communicators, but they were the exceptin to the rule.

  13. Absolutely disgraceful, but as long as the rest of the media and Labor stay silent, this will continue to happen.

      • It’s like the media refuse to report on Immigration with the assumption that it’s all favourable, and our Government are taking advantage of it by introducing more and more extreme open border-like policies.

  14. I don’t know why such agreements are called “free trade agreements”.
    They are nothing of the sort: they usually entail large corporations expanding their markets at the expense of local small businesses and in the case of the USA, they try and enforce their corporate laws on overseas countries.
    Small wonder that governments usually want to keep the details secret before they are signed.