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Tuesday, 22 May 2018
Page: 4130


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (14:28): Prime Minister, are you aware that there are 1.4 million temporary visa workers in Australia, the highest in the OECD? In fact, 3.6 million workers—half the entire Australian workforce—were born overseas. The threat of deportation renders foreign workers docile, supine and super cheap, ensuring they, not Australians, get the jobs. Whilst imported cultural and spiritual values inundate us, still 600,000 people pour into Australia each year. They seek the 200,000 new jobs already sought by over 200,000 school leavers. PM, you inherited this situation from Labor, but will you fix it?

Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:29): I'm glad the honourable member, in the last part of his question, acknowledged the Olympic-class performance of the Leader of the Opposition in issuing 457 visas for people to work in McDonald's, Hungry Jack's and KFC. We have done more than any government before us to make sure Australians are given priority for jobs in Australia. Our policies are ensuring that our Migration Program is targeted and reflects the genuine needs of the economy. Our Migration Program operates in the national interest of Australia and Australia alone; that is its objective. It's a recruitment exercise. Our job is to ensure that nobody comes to Australia that we do not need or want, and it is the sovereign right of the Australian people, exercised through their government, to determine that. Of course, we saw when Labor were in office how they outsourced migration policy to people smugglers and criminals. That won't be happening again; although, if the member for Batman has her way, that will be on again.

We have an excellent program and I want to describe to the honourable member some of the details in it. Of the people migrating to Australia, 68 per cent are skilled migrants; 32 per cent are from family visa streams. Of the family visa stream, 79 per cent are partners—husbands or wives—14 per cent are parents, six per cent are children, and 1 per cent fall into other categories. The skilled program is split between employer-sponsored, skilled independent, and state, territory and regional nominated visas.

The big difference is that we ensure that everybody that comes here, comes because they are needed or wanted. In 2016-17, the permanent migration program was 183,608 places and that was, roughly, two-thirds skilled stream and one-third family places. So I can assure the honourable member that the Migration Program, which is being excellently managed by the Minister for Home Affairs and his ministers, is one that operates in the interests of our nation and no other nation. That's our commitment. We're determined to ensure that the mistakes, the follies and the tragedies that occasioned Labor's abandonment of border protection will never happen again.