Turnbull overrides Parliament and begins implementing ChAFTA

Published: 28 Sep 2015

The announcement by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton regarding the availability of 1500 Work and Holiday visas (Subclass 462) has made a mockery of Malcolm Turnbull's promise of a "new and consultative" Government, the CFMEU said today.

Peter Dutton has announced that some 1500 visas were offered to Chinese Nationals between the ages of 18-30 under a program negotiated under the China Australia Free Trade (ChAFTA) deal.

The move will eventually allow 5000 young Chinese into the country at a time when youth unemployment is close to 14 per cent.

"The China FTA has not yet been ratified by the Australian Parliament but the new Turnbull Government has steamrolled through one of its most controversial measures," Michael O'Connor the National Secretary of the CFMEU said today.

"Youth unemployment is close to 14 per cent and there are already 1.2 million people currently in Australia from overseas with working visa rights.

"Malcolm Turnbull promised a new ‘consultative approach' but the Government did not discuss this measure with either the Opposition or the cross-benchers.

"Did they read the report of their own committee looking into the China Free Trade Agreement?

"The Government pretends these are holiday visas but its own Department, Austrade, has admitted that the vast majority of people on so called working holiday visas are here to work.1

"This announcement shows a disregard for Parliamentary democracy.

"The new Government appears to be no different to the old one - jumping the gun and not following proper process.

"By ‘consultation' it appears the new Government does not mean with Parliament or the people, just the big end of town.

"The Turnbull Government is selling out young Australians, and the betrayal reveals much about how they intend to govern."


Authorised by Michael O'Connor, National Secretary,165 Bouverie Street Carlton 3053