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Kristina Keneally's fractured fairy tales?

At the outset let me declare my interest in this speech as a Registered Migration Agent, Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyer, and Australian Citizen.   None of these characteristics disqualifies me from having an opinion. 

The Annual John Curtin lecture by Senator Keneally, albeit it in a partisan forum, exposes some interesting problems, but does not posit any solutions.


My specific concerns are as follows: 

The unidentified vietnamese refugee example 

This case is posited as an example of a new “business model” of the people smugglers, and that since 2014 the number of asylum seekers arriving by plane has “exploded” to 100,000, and that it has something to do with the number of boat arrivals.  Frankly, the chain of logic is tortured. 

In any event, assuming that the Vietnamese “victim” of the new people smuggler business model, there has been no “explosion” of claims.  What has happened is that once the Unlawful Maritime Arrivals (UMA) model was shut down, there has inevitably been a transition to incoming international flights.   

Although Senator Keneally says that 90 percent of the applicants for protection visas are found to be “without merit”, the complaint then shifts to a rant about the exploitation of such persons, not only by the “people smugglers” but also the “unscrupulous employers” who engage in "exploitation" and “wage theft”.

So what is the link between the two ideas? Are they related? 

Perhaps Senator Keneally needs to get her facts straight, again.  

1.      Persons making claims for protection visas must apply within 28 days of their arrival (by any means) to get work permission.

2.      The applicant for the protection visa can apply for permission to work and may work anywhere whilst they continue to hold a BVA.

3.      Applicants refused Protection visas have rights of review at the AAT, subject to strict time limits, and retain the right to work.

4.      Applicants unhappy with an adverse decision at the AAT can appeal that decision to the FCC, subject to strict time limits, and will retain the right to work as long as they continue to hold a BVA. 

These arrangements have been in place for at least 20 years and unless there is a prohibition on permission to work then I can see no ready solution to the problem raised by Senator Keneally. 

The segway to the exploitation of vulnerable workers, including our Vietnamese victim does not lie at the feet of the current government but is in fact a problem of law enforcement, and the lack of oversight and scrutiny by relevant Federal and State agencies. 

Senator Keneally conflates wage theft and exploitation with permission to work 

Senator Keneally does this because her agenda is anti temporary residence.  The Senator espouses the union dogma of exploitation, the threat to Australian workers posed by Australia’s migration program, and pushes the exploitation and wage theft model, but the dog-whistle is anti-immigration because the unions don’t like it. 

It is all very well to refer to one’s own immigration experience, but the lens that experience brings to the relevant view point is of course one of white privilege, a luxury not available to our Vietnamese “victim” who was said to have paid $50K to come to Australia and be ripped off by unscrupulous employers. 

Senator Keneally can’t have her cake and eat it too 

The latest call by Senator Keneally in the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser, is of such breathtaking hypocrisy that it should be called out.  In the Senator's Curtin lecture she rails against the exploitation of temporary residents.  Now the Senator wants “volunteer work” on working holiday visas to count as work experience.  Here's what the Senator has to say now:

"Bushfire-affected communities, including many regional towns, rely on backpackers on working holiday maker visas and temporary skilled migrants to fill shortages in the labour market - particularly in horticulture and hospitality," Senator Keneally said.

"Many backpackers and other temporary migrants even want to volunteer and help their towns recover but risk their visas being cancelled for simple changes to their work arrangements."

The Senator is of course referring to temporary residents who she has previously slammed as not being engaged in their regional areas.  Now the Senator wants them to work for free

What actually is her position? 

These mixed messages from a Senator who claims to have her grip on the immigration portfolio are not very encouraging. 

Perhaps the Senator has a different opinion every day, and for every headline event? 

Not all publicity is good publicity, Senator. 

Like all good fantasies, a sprinkling of the truth to embellish the fable does not make truth out of a fairy tale.

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  • John Peter Mendoza
    John Peter Mendoza Thursday, 06 February 2020

    I like the article. And the poster made me laugh. Cheers.

  • Andy Griffiths
    Andy Griffiths Thursday, 06 February 2020

    Mr Levingston, you rock!!

  • Guest
    Chris Chanel Friday, 07 February 2020

    What crap. Way to many migrants coming to Australia temporary and permanent. You all talk like its set in stone and should happen because they want to come, poor back packers and 3rd world getto workers.
    Its not written in stone and should only happen if the existing population benefits. Which it is not. Read the productivity commission stuff etc. Let alone bringing in the old parents etc just a joke.
    The only ones who want mass immigration are ones making money from it like this place. Not for profit my ass, you are all paid to talk the propaganda. I think of my kids future which is looking worse due to immigration. Or the fact I have to work harder to deal with a client who can't speak English and its considered my problem because if I complain about it then I am a racist or entitled white man.
    I have no issue with immigration just the massive numbers that are being poured into the country to feed the ponzi scheme economy.
    Also if you read Marco Business you see the full story not just your one sided rubbish with the idealistic bullshit that this alliance spreads. They are paid less then Australian workers and its supply and demand. No one gets a pay rise when some desperate person will do the work for less. Or 10 will do it for less. And give me the Moronic Bullshit that we have skill shortage of managers or Accountants or fast food cooks.

    Chris Chanel

  • Guest
    Chris Chanel Friday, 07 February 2020

    You delete my comment because I am right you political correct dicks.;
    You are a joke. that is for sure.

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