| November 28, 2016
Damian Drum asks about the 457 Visa Program
Delivered: House of Representatives, Parliament House, 28 November 2016.
My question is to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Will the minister update the House on steps the government is taking to ensure the integrity of the 457 visa program? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?
Peter Dutton (Dickson—Minister for Immigration and Border Protection): I thank the honourable member very much for his question.
This is a very important issue, because it brings into focus the credibility of the Leader of the Opposition.
This is a man who at every turn—and there are many people behind him that could attest to this—he has doublecrossed most people in his public adult life.
This is a leader of the opposition who says one thing outside of this chamber and a very different thing inside of this chamber.
The Leader of the Opposition is here, saying that he wants to introduce a bill in relation to 457 visas.
The whole idea of the 457 program is that, if the company or the employer cannot find an Australian worker, they can advertise for an overseas worker.
And we heard from the Leader of the Opposition on the introduction of a bill into this place—somehow, he wanted to change the focus of this particular 457 visa program.
But when he was the employment minister—when he was a minister in the Gillard and Rudd governments—he did the complete opposite.
Mr Speaker, can you imagine the surprise this morning when the Leader of the Opposition woke up to this headline in The Daily Telegraph—
The SPEAKER: The minister knows the rules on props.
Mr DUTTON: I understand, Mr Speaker. 'Do you want lies with that?' goes the headline in The Daily Telegraph, a story written by Simon Benson.
As it turns out, this Leader of the Opposition signed off on a special deal for McDonald's.
There was some confusion, as I understand it, in Labor ranks at the time, because the Leader of the Opposition thought that it was actually a special dodgy deal for Joe McDonald!
You could understand his confusion, Mr Speaker.
He will prefer union bosses over workers every day of the week.
That has been his operation; that has been the way he has conducted himself all his adult life.
He has ripped workers off, to the benefit of union bosses, on a regular basis.
It has been documented in this place. It does not matter whether it is the special deal for McDonald's, or importing foreign workers and preferring them over Australian workers—it does not matter which example you to look at: this Leader of the Opposition cannot lie straight in bed.
That is the reality.
It is demonstrated in case after case.
This Leader of the Opposition cannot go to the public at the time of the next election with any credibility on 457 visas.
He cannot go to the Australian public at the next election with any credibility when it comes to border protection policy, because—as we know—before an election, this Leader of the Opposition will say or do anything.
He will say or do anything, but the reality is that he cannot tell the truth.
He has demonstrated it again in relation to this 457 issue, and the Australian public is awake to this phoney Leader of the Opposition.