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Monday, 9 November 2015
Page: 8009


Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaAssistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (17:31): In the first instance, as was rightly pointed out by Senator Macdonald, anybody who employs somebody on one of these visas is required to demonstrate that there is no Australian capable of undertaking that job. In relation to comments about the previous Prime Minister's office and how they dealt with the issue of the 457 visa, I have absolutely no idea. It is something that you may need to find out elsewhere. I am not privy to the information in relation to the employment of the person who was in the previous Prime Minister's office on a 457 visa. In relation to anybody who is in breach of their obligations in the employment of somebody on one of these visas, there are very clear sanctions. They will be issued against any business that breaches their obligations in relation to the employment of people on these types of visas.

In answer to your question, Senator Macdonald, about any free trade arrangements that were signed between 2007 and 2013, my understanding is that the only agreement that was signed during that time was with Chile and that the conditions that related to labour market testing were largely the same as the conditions that have been contained in the recent free trade agreements that have been signed with a number of our close Asian partners and neighbours.