2 Sep 2015

Relaxing requirements on the employment of temporary migrant workers could result in local workers being overlooked for work.

Concern has focused on whether relaxing requirements on the employment of temporary migrant workers could result in local workers being overlooked for work associated with Chinese investment projects, and the potential for employment standards to be eroded.

Much of the attention has focused on the Memorandum of Understanding on an Investment Facilitation Arrangement (IFA). The IFA provides Chinese investors with the right to negotiate visas to engage temporary migrant workers who would be employed in semi-skilled occupations. Under the terms of the IFA, Chinese contractors would negotiate the terms and conditions of employment with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and, in effect, outside the established Australian industrial relations system.


There is "no requirement for labour market testing to enter into an IFA". This his why the union movement has some cause for concern because it fears that the investment-labour mobility clause could result in local workers being displaced by migrant workers.

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