ABC becomes research assistant for government

Did anyone think it passing strange (geddit?) that 7.30 would run some dodgy, anecdotal story on the ‘rorting’ of 457 visas in the IT industry last week?  It was as if the ABC thinks it needs to provide the government with some (unconvincing) rhetorical material to defend its xenophobic clamping down on 457 visas.

And did anyone else think it was passing strange that the chief complainant of 457 visas in the segment seemed to be an immigrant himself, although presumably a permanent one?

I guess after the Minister’s embarrassing admission that he just made up the figure of 10,000 cases of rorting – doesn’t everyone else make up figures? was his response – the government has decided not to bother about producing any evidence.

And then we had Barrie “Sundance” Cassidy continuing to argue the government’s case about widespread 457 visa ‘rorting’.  Hmmm, yet another violation of the ABC’s Editorial Policies but who is counting?  Certainly not the ABC.

I have just had a look at the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 and needless to say, it is a disgrace.

The main aim seems to be to tie up prospective employers in bureaucratic knots for months and months, ‘testing the labour market’ and being able to demonstrate they have ‘tested the labour market’. 

Actually, there are number of exemptions, most particularly for experience graduates.  The bill seems to squarely aimed at the TRADES, which is in keeping with this bill being yet another favour for the government’s union mates.  Yes, yet another one.

And then there is the army of bodgy inspectors from the Fair Work Commission (otherwise unemployed law graduates from third rate universities, with a mission) who will ensure compliance with the program and impose sanctions.  The mind just boggles – sweet, stupid young thing barging into an employer’s premises demanding evidence of labour market testing.)

Clearly, the aim is dissuade employers from even thinking 457.  Good one, Brendan.  That will mean fewer jobs for Australians as well.

Labour market testing for 457 visas was ditched about a decade ago on the advice of the Department because it achieved nothing but was costly.

It is interesting whether this bill will have been subject to a RIS – regulatory impact statement.  My guess is NO WAY, along with most of the other new pieces of legislation being pushed through parliament. (Does anyone know whether there has been a RIS done on the Australian Education Bill?)

The one good thing about the 457 amendments is that so much power is vested in the Minister to exempt occupations and sponsors that the next government will be able to make it null and void without even rescinding the amendments, should they pass the two houses this week.

(Windsor, we are watching … but actually my opinion of him could not go any lower.)

(An unintended consequence of restricting 457 visas in the IT sector is likely to be the acceleration of the offshoring of jobs we are currently seeing.  If companies cannot bring in workers, then just ship the jobs off to another country, which is feasible in many parts of the IT industry.)

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37 Responses to ABC becomes research assistant for government

  1. Tintarella di Luna

    They are vandalising the Australian economy and eating the future – careful they might choke.

  2. There is little point in Tony Abbott criticising Government Policy. Julia is supreme at tearing her own to pieces. She is rubbishing her own policy on 457’s and her own ‘Fur Wok’ empire.

    Keep putting the boot in Julia. Own Goals are still going on the scoreboard even though the final whistle is about to blow.

  3. Mike

    My partner runs a website devlopment business_she tried to get local programmers to do the work but after several attempts at using local providers she now uses overseas programmers from various countries. In her sort of business she doesn’t need a 457 visa,everything can be done on skype. This government is a joke and wouldn’t know thew first thing about trying to run a small business_as for the abc who cares about a bunch of public servants masquerading as journalists_I and many people I know stopped paying any attention to them ages ago.
    bring on sept!

  4. Ant

    Windsor is a malicious zit, demanding the be squashed by the whole of the New England electorate come the election.

  5. Tel

    Why do the unions care about the IT industry?

    No one in the IT industry is ever going to join a union.

  6. duncanm

    Tel,

    they don’t, its just a vehicle for their justification.

    Most IT jobs are graduate, hence exempt from the new proposals anyway. (AFAIU)

  7. Johno

    as for the abc who cares about a bunch of public servants masquerading as journalists

    I wish they were public servants. Public servants are responsible to a Minister who can hold them to account. The ABC and SBS have done a wonderful snow job. Anytime a Minister tries to hold them to account, they scream ‘political interference’. Unsurprisingly the Minister backs off and they can continue on their merry way.

    You either have to have government owned media that is accountable to a Minister (and will therefore do the government’s bidding) or you sell them off and make them accountable to their shareholders and viewers.

    An ‘independent’ government owned media organisation is a contradiction of terms. An absurdity.

  8. duncanm

    Crikey.

    The exemptions are even allowed for jobs requiring a diploma

    What a joke.

  9. JMH

    With regard to the ABC – and to coin a nice phrase from Tom on the Open Thread, the “howler monkey choir” in full voice again!

    An aside issue with regard to 457s – I wonder if we may see a reshuffle of TLS’s personnel shortly, ie. might McTernan be packing his bags?

  10. entropy

    Quite so, JMH. The rumour is McT will finish packing September 16.

  11. Tel

    An ‘independent’ government owned media organisation is a contradiction of terms. An absurdity.

    The Reserve Bank seems to get away with it.

  12. JMH

    entropy (#898470) I meant within the next few weeks. We know he won’t be hanging around after Saturday, Sept. 14th. I have a bit of a feeling his brilliant strategies might have outlived their usefulness. He’s been a godsend to Abbott, of course and great comedy value for the thinking voter.

    Time will tell.

  13. Ronaldo

    The most important task for a future Abbott government should be to insist on a zero carbon footprint for the ABC.

  14. Tel

    The exemptions are even allowed for jobs requiring a diploma.

    Good call Duncan M, useful research. That basically writes off the entire IT industry other than the most junior jobs, so it is utter posturing.

  15. entropy

    Well that could be possible JMH, but I think it is too late. A new person would have too low a base to start off on. If Rudd topples Gillard, then sure.

  16. JC

    I wish they were public servants. Public servants are responsible to a Minister who can hold them to account. The ABC and SBS have done a wonderful snow job. Anytime a Minister tries to hold them to account, they scream ‘political interference’. Unsurprisingly the Minister backs off and they can continue on their merry way.

    This is why I believe it’s important for the Libs to begin setting out what changes they wish to make to the ABC, so they can claim a mandate if there’s any screaming after the election.

    Lets face it, no one who is voting for the Coalition is not going to because the Libs propose material changes and necessary reforms in that space.

  17. Ronaldo

    Further to Judith’s point, take a look at the lead story on the ABC News website: ‘Telstra’s copper network in “state of disrepair”‘”


    Unions have told the ABC Telstra’s copper network is in a state of disrepair… The copper network is a crucial element of the Opposition’s alternative broadband plan.

  18. JC

    Unbelieveable. So they’re now spruiking the NBN for the government and against the opposition.

    It almost borders on treason with the partisanship the arsehoes are showing.

  19. Nato

    Barry ‘Sundance’ Cassidy
    law graduates from third rate universities

    Please leave mocking condescension to the lemon suckers. (Geddit?)

  20. 2dogs

    The one good thing about the 457 amendments is that so much power is vested in the Minister to exempt occupations and sponsors that the next government will be able to make it null and void without even rescinding the amendments, should they pass the two houses this week.

    This is legislation that the DLP will make Tony Abbott keep and use if they get the balance of power in the senate.

  21. Catfeesh?

    Ah, it’s in a state of disrepair…..but still works. In other words, it is doing better than anything this government has done in the last six years.

    Arsehoes, JC? I like it, even if it was a typo.

  22. Gab

    And contrast that with this article three days ago, Ronaldo:

    THE Coalition’s plan to roll out a national broadband network using Telstra’s copper network has received a significant boost as the telco giant’s boss declared the ancient copper asset could run for another 100 years.

    Speaking to journalist after a Trans-Tasman Business lunch in Sydney today, David Thodey said that the state of Telstra’s copper network was in good working order and would remain so for generations to come.

    “Copper has been going for 100 years, I think it will be going for another 100,” he said.

    “There is always opportunity so you have to keep things maintained. But it’s perfectly ok, there is some copper a lot older than others but copper does not decompose.

  23. JC

    Arseholes, arsehoes… same difference when describing those degenerates.

  24. Art Vandelay

    It is interesting whether this bill will have been subject to a RIS – regulatory impact statement. My guess is NO WAY, along with most of the other new pieces of legislation being pushed through parliament. (Does anyone know whether there has been a RIS done on the Australian Education Bill?)

    According to the Explanatory Memorandum, a RIS was required for some aspects of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 but:

    the Prime Minister granted an exemption on the basis of exceptional circumstances. A post-implementation review will be required within 1 to 2 years of implementation.

    This government has used the Prime Minister’s Exemption to get out of preparing RISs on a lot of contentious issues and, indeed, in many other cases they’ve just ignored the requirement to prepare RISs.

    Judith, my information suggests that the OBPR has struggled to get this government to comply with its RIS guidelines, particularly when it comes to Industrial Relations (eg, Fair Work Act) and environmental issues (renewable energy) and it would be worth doing further investigation and a column on this issue.

    As for the Australian Education Bill, I can’t find a RIS for it, but it’s doubtful one would be required since the Bill wouldn’t have a ‘significant direct impact on business’ (a trigger for the RIS process to apply) in the eyes of the OBPR.

  25. JC

    The Reserve Bank seems to get away with it.

    You mean like raising interest rates in the middle of the 2007 election. That independent?

  26. blogstrop

    Tonight’s ABC TV News had another instance. They are trying to torpedo the coalition’s alternative to the NBN (fibre to the node and wireless where appropriate) by saying the copper network is on its last legs and held together with water-filled plastic bags.

    It’s true because the unions say so.

  27. duncanm

    What the unions mean is they will put it into a state of disrepair before September.

  28. Tel

    You mean like raising interest rates in the middle of the 2007 election. That independent?

    I use the word ‘independent’ because that’s how Johno put it. You must admit they face a similar conflict of interests to the ABC, for similar reasons.

  29. duncanm

    Somehow, miraculously, the copper network, in its entirety, has come into a state of disrepair in 2013.

    This, despite the fact it has been in continual expansion since the first telephone exchange in 1880, and most of it having of course been maintained and upgraded.

  30. Bruce

    The easy way to fix the 457 rorting problem is to require all 457 visa holders to join the AWU.

    Then there would be no problem seen by the Government or the media. And the rorting would then be the right rorting not the wrong rorting.

    Always helps to think like a union organiser.

  31. boy on a bike

    If the copper network is falling to bits, why have I been getting faster internet access with the passing of the years? I’m sure the copper between my house and the exchange has not been replaced since I first dialed up with a 9.6kb modem all those years ago…..

  32. And Another Thing

    You can expect a lot more on the ABC tailored to favor Labor. Apart from 7.30’s IT story, on tonight’s news there was an item spreading doubt on the existing copper network the Coalition hopes to use in the revised NBN scheme.

    Then there was the Whitlam series — perfect for the ABC in an election year. The same sort of thing has happened in other election years.

    The ABC is a visible cheer squad for Labor. At the moment it only represents the views of 30 per cent of Australians. Perhaps it should only be given 30 per cent of its more-than $1billion next year.

  33. wreckage

    Privatise the ABC with the exception of the regional and national radio. The latter because specifically leaving those out will be a bone thrown to rural voters, thereby robbing the ABC of some of its noisiest supporters.

  34. Blogstrop

    National radio (ABC RN) is the home of the movie idolising book hugging artsfest lefties, and has Fran the activist beamed to way too many ears every morning. Their reviews of books and films are for the most part just a vehicle for promulgating their world view and puff pieces for mates’ books. Some things have to change there if you want to retain it. I’d keep at most the regional stations and classic fm.

  35. For Gods sake, just sell the bloody ABC, sack everyone and let the new owners put in their own staff. The bulk of the Techies won’t lose their jobs, but the lunatics in charge will be shown the door and never return.

  36. Catfeesh?

    If the copper network is falling to bits, why have I been getting faster internet access with the passing of the years? I’m sure the copper between my house and the exchange has not been replaced since I first dialed up with a 9.6kb modem all those years ago…..

    Because shut up, that’s why.

  37. James David

    Does anybody know if John McTernan has left the country yet? For those who don’t know or recall the name, McTernan is the Labor Political Operative brought to Australia on a 457 Visa originally as a “thinker in residence” for the SA government and then kept here as Julia Gillard’s Director of Communication for the Office of the Prime Minister. I am assume bother the SA Government and the then Prime Minister issued a 457 Visa because the SA Labor Government could not find a “thinker” qualified to carry out their needs and Julia could not find a “thinker / public relations / communications director” to meet her needs. Well, John McTernan did such a good job that Julia no longer needs him … so, is he gone yet? It would seem with the exodus of some many senior Labor figures at the Federal level that there will be plenty available to act as “thinker in residence” for a long time to come.

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