Labor Will Block Weakening Protection for Workers

MEDIA RELEASE: Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Richard Marles has accused the Abbott Government of attempting to undermine important legislation protecting workers employed in offshore resource projects.

The Abbott Government is currently trying to use the Migration Amendment (Offshore Resource Activity) Regulation 2014 to replace the Offshore Resource Worker visa class with Maritime Crew visas (Subclass 988).

Labor believes it is not appropriate to use Maritime Crew visas in this blanket capacity in the offshore resource industry. This visa class lacks the appropriate safeguards to protect workers from being exploited.

Labor is also concerned about potential security breaches that could occur by using this visa in the offshore resource industry.

Mr Marles has written to the Government this week to offer a constructive way forward, advising the Government that Labor would support a new regulation that allowed Offshore Resource Activity workers to hold two other types of working visas. However, Labor will not support the regulation as it stands.

Labor will block any attempt by the Abbott Government to weaken the safeguards surrounding people employed in our vital offshore resource industry.