Australian Senators on Wednesday July 16, 2014 teamed up to vote down  a new visa regime that allowed the skilled migrants to be hired at the offshore rigs in the Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The rules were exploiting the foreign workers at the expense of Australian workers as claimed by the Senators. The governing party, however, has blasted the decision to disallow the visa rules.

The Australian Greens joined hands with Labor and the Palmer United Party and  moved the disallowance motion to overturn the visa rules.  The Greens claimed that the temporary visas were allowing skilled migrants employed at the expense of Australian jobs. The visa regulations were overturned in a vote.

Displeased with the vote outcome, the Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash, said, “Labor senators knowingly placed thousands of Australian jobs at risk.” 

Cash further added, “The Australian Labor Party have quite frankly shown to the Australian people that they are economic vandals.”

Greens senator Penny Wright said that visa regulations were used for the exploitation of the foreign temporary workers and the foreign employees in the Australian waters could be paid as little as $1000 per month.

Penny Wright further added, “This regulation would allow overseas workers to work for up to three years straight in the oil and gas zone without a visa that has Australian labour law as the legal basis underpinning their wages and conditions.”

Maritime Union of Australia official, Paddy Crumlin, shared the similar opinion about the visa rules and said, “It was there to bring in Philippino, Indonesian seafarers not on Australian wages and conditions.”

Australian Mines and Metals Association executive director Scott Barklamb, however,  blasted the senators for voting down the visa regulations. Scott told reporters, “At the stroke of a pen … the Senate has thrown a significant number of Australian and international jobs into jeopardy.”

The visa status of the foreign employees working on offshore oil rigs in the Australian waters is not clear after the visa regulations have been cancelled.

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