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Compulsory Labour Agreements for the meat industry to provide access to the 457 visa scheme.

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Kevin Andrews MP Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Compulsory Labour Agreements for the meat industry to provide access to the 457 visa scheme

Monday, 10 September 2007

Under regulations that come into effect today, companies that operate in the meat industry in all States and Territories will now be able to access overseas skilled workers by entering into Labour Agreements.

Following months of unsuccessful negotiations with State Governments in NSW and Victoria, the Commonwealth will now enter into Labour Agreements directly with meat companies.

Australian meat companies can now access workers directly, without the involvement of State Governments.

The benchmark for the labour agreement will be that signed by the Commonwealth, Australian Meat Holdings and the Queensland State Government in February this year.

The meat industry Labour Agreement mandates for the training of Australian workers and sets the skill level and salary for overseas workers, thereby further strengthening the integrity of the Subclass 457 visa program.

Amendments to the Migration Regulations will assist meat companies to transition from standard business sponsorship arrangements to the Labour Agreement framework, which better provides for the skill needs of their industry.

Companies requesting access to an agreement will be given priority to negotiate a new Labour Agreement.

All applications currently being processed and all new applications made after 10 September 2007 will be considered under the new framework.

For further information, meat companies should email the department. Email:

Media enquiries: Kate Walshe 0421 588 794