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Monday, 29 May 2000
Page: 16511

Mr Beazley asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, upon notice, on 11 April 2000:

(1) How many business long stay visas (subclass 457) have been issued to enable overseas personnel to be employed in the steel fabrication and construction industries in Australia (a) since March 1999 and (b) during 1997-98 and 1998-99.

(2) What vacanies have been filled by workers entering WA on these visas.

(3) Which countries were the main sources of persons entering Australia on business long stay visas (subclass 457) in (a) 1997-98 and (b) 1998-99.

(4) Which industries were the most involved in applications for these types of visas.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) In 1997-98, there were 23 nomination applications lodged by Australian employers seeking to employ overseas structural steel and construction workers under the temporary business (long stay) arrangements (visa subclass 457). These nominations included 16 steel fixers, four structural steel erectors and three construction assistants. Due to systems difficulties, data on nominations lodged in 1998-99 and since March 1999 is not available.

Incoming passenger data indicates that in 1997-98, 20 people arrived in Australia on subclass 457 visas indicating occupations in the metal and steel construction industries, including nine structural steel and welding tradespersons and eight structural steel and construction workers. In 1998-99, 13 people arrived to work within the same occupational categories, including four structural steel tradespersons and six construction tradespersons.

(2) Of the 20 people arriving to work in this industry in 1997-98, seven (all structural steel tradepersons) specified that their state of intended residence was Western Australia. In 1998-99, two of the 13 people being employed within the steel fabrication and construction industry stated that their state of intended state of residence was Western Australia.

The incoming passenger data for holders of subclass 457 visas (all occupations) for 1998-99 indicates that 45% intended to reside in New South Wales; 24% in Victoria; 13% in Western Australia; 12% in Queensland; 2% in South Australia; 1.6% in the Northern Territory; 1.4% in the Australian Capital Territory and 0.5% in Tasmania

(3) The main source countries of persons entering Australia on subclass 457 visas in 1997-98 were the United Kingdom (23%), USA (12%), Japan (8%), Peoples Republic of China (7%) and South Africa (6%). In 1998-99, the main source countries were the United Kingdom (23%), USA (10%), Japan (8%), South Africa (8%), the Peoples Republic of China (6%) and India (6%).

(4) The industries most involved in the sponsorship of employees from overseas in 1998-99 were information technology and telecommunications (20%), business, professional, property and scientific and technical services (17%), manufacturing (12%) and hospitality and tourism (8%).