|Published : 18 Apr 2017, 18:39:28 | Updated : 18 Apr 2017, 18:43:11|
Hardline stance of Australia on immigration echoes US President Trump’s moves
The government of Australia will axe a visa scheme for temporary foreign workers in a move that is likely to resonate with voters increasingly concerned about immigration, a report in the global media said.
The conservative government of Malcolm Turnbull will abolish the “457” visa programme that allows skilled foreigners to work in Australia for up to four years, it added.
The decision, presented in a video on the Australian Premier’s Facebook page, echoes moves in the US by President Donald Trump in pursuit of a “Buy American/Hire American” credo, the report noted.
About 96,000 of the country’s 12m-strong labour force work under “457” visa programme in Australia, the report said quoting 2016 immigration department data.
This visa programme will be replaced by a new one designed to attract “the best and brightest” to Australia, the report said mentioning Mr Turnbull’s announcement.
According to the report, immigration has otherwise been seen since long as beneficial for Australia’s economy, contributing, according to experts, 1.0 percentage point of the country’s 3.0 per cent annual gross domestic product growth over the past few years.
Mr Turnbull’s latest decision sparked accusations that he had bowed to the rhetoric of Pauline Hanson’s rightwing One Nation party to constrict immigration and appeal to the country’s resurgent populism.
Immigration, according to the report, is a contentious topic among Australians -- more than a quarter of whom were born overseas.
The country’s hardline policies to deter illegal migration have attracted criticism from the UN and human rights groups, it added.