Labor Senator Kim Carr recently told The Australian newspaper of his intention to proceed with a disallowance motion of the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Regulation 2015, however this is dependant on gaining the support of the Senate.
Hundreds of highly specialised skilled workers employed on sub-class 457 or 400 visas working on Australia’s offshore oil and gas rigs are at risk of losing their work rights if Labor’s plans for a disallowance motion are approved.
According to industry analysts, there is a critical need for foreign workers who possess the highly specialised skills necessary to operate oil rigs. A void of foreign workers with this level of expertise could leave the Australian industry vulnerable to a lack of training from those with this level of specialised experience.
The Head of the Australian Mines and Metals association, Steve Knott has written to opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles to express concerns for the effect of the disallowance motion on Australia’s $200 billion offshore oil and gas sector.
“The cost of running each rig is in the realm of $1 million a day” wrote Steve Knott, “If those senior personnel are not able to work because the regulation has been disallowed, the junior Australian drill crew cannot work either and they would have to be stood down. It would be impossible to get an Australian worker to work those rigs and the rigs would have to leave Australia.”
Source: The Migration Alliance