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Howard's hypocrisy on Australian values.



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LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION THE HON KIM C BEAZLEY MP

HOWARD’S HYPOCRISY ON AUSTRALIAN VALUES

John Howard says he wants immigrants to learn Australian values and speak English, but revelations today show his rorted work visas are bringing in foreign workers who do not speak English, let alone sign up to Australian values.

John Howard is preventing foreign workers from signing up to the one essential Australian value this country was founded on: a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. And Mr Howard’s rorted foreign worker visas are being used to undermine pay and conditions for all workers.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that a building site in Sydney has had to be closed down because workers brought in on John Howard’s rorted foreign worker visas cannot speak English and pose health and safety risks.

One building worker told the Sydney Morning Herald the Chinese labourers were importing unsafe work practices: “We’d see people on the roof, 20 metres in the air, and you couldn’t even yell at them to get friggin’ down.”

John Howard’s rorted 457 visas have brought in Chinese workers with no English and working for Chinese wages. They are the part of John Howard’s wages race to the bottom - low-wage workers threatening the wages and conditions of all workers in this country.

John Howard wants Australia to compete with China and India on wages. I say we must compete with these countries on high skills, not low wages.

That’s why, on top of ripping up his extreme IR laws and ending these visa rorts, I will also abolish John Howard’s Trade Skills Training Visas, which give apprenticeships to unskilled migrants, rather than young Australians.

The biggest threat to Australian values right now is John Howard’s one-two punch to working Australians on immigration and industrial relations. If John Howard really wants to maintain and strengthen Australian values, he should start with our workplaces.

Mr Howard has rorted 457 temporary work visas to bring in overseas workers who do not speak English. At the same time, he hypocritically talks about immigrants needing to learn English.

John Howard’s hypocrisy has been exposed. He says one thing about immigrants and does another. John Howard must be judged on his actions, not his words.

Immigrants should embrace Australian values and learn to speak English, that’s why John Howard must stop undermining Australian values with his immigration-IR one-two punch.

Canberra. Monday, 4 September 2006

Contact: George Svigos: 0417 196 836