An overseas worker at the local 2PH farm.
An overseas worker at the local 2PH farm. Simon Green

Local poll finds majority oppose 457 visa scheme

A LOCAL poll found 62% of people opposed the 457 visa scheme which brings temporary workers to Australia, but many businesses and the health industry rely on these overseas workers.

This is the case for local citrus farmer Craig Pressler and Emerald Surgery practice principal Dr Devinder Singh Grewal.

"I think each sector of the different industries has its own wants and needs," Mr Pressler said.

"We really struggle to find people with those key skills we need and that's our experience and without being able to access other sources of employment we couldn't compete.

"We supply food and our fruit goes all over the world. We have a constant demand for people and we can't absorb the fluctuations like the mining industries.

"We are not a commodity producer, we are a primary producer who has perishable goods and we have to pick them, pack them and load for shipping."

The health industry also relies heavily on overseas workers who use the 457 visa Dr Grewal said.

"If we couldn't get 457 doctors and nurses there wouldn't be any health services in the bush," Dr Grewal said.

"It's very important in filing the gaps in the system and to support and look after the community."

The poll, which was commissioned by the CFMEU, interviewed 600 residents over the phone in the Capricornia and Flynn electorates.

It found 72% of people were in favour of the Federal Government's plan to restrict 457 visa and other temporary worker schemes.

Further, 25% of the undecided voters said they were less likely to vote for the Coalition in the September Federal Election because of their support for the current 457 scheme.

However 90% of those people polled rejected the suggestion that opposing the schemes made them 'racist'.

Do you support overseas workers on 457 visas?

This poll ended on 03 May 2013.

Current Results

Yes

68%

No

31%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


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