Inquiries into 417 visas to be expanded

A SENATE inquiry is to be expanded and the Victorian Government will launch its own inquiry into the exploitation of workers on Working Holiday 417 visas, in the wake of Monday night's Four Corners program.

It exposed how foreign nationals on 417 visas were being underpaid and housed in "slave-like conditions" by unscrupulous labour hire firms and prompted wide reaction yesterday.

While Labor, the Greens and unions called for new investigations, Nationals backbencher Keith Pitt, who was featured in the program, said the time for inquiries was over.

He reiterated his call for the establishment of a national, multi-department taskforce to investigate the issue, saying current laws simply needed to be enforced.

Mr Pitt's position was backed by the National Farmers Federation and horticulture industry group Growcom, which both said the law-breakers were the exception, not the rule, in the farming industry.

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said the Federal Government was already investigating compliance problems in the 417 program.

She said a recent reform to ensure payslips were provided would help prevent worker exploitation.


Topics:  farm fruit picking labour

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Should you really be going to emergency?

The Kingaroy Hospital emergency room.

Government asks people to think before going to emergency.

South Burnett the ideal place to 'get a foot in the door'

FIRST HOME BUYERS: Phil and Rebecca Cooke.

"It's an affordable way to buy your first or second house.”

Man airlifted after serious accident

A man has been airlifted from Kingaroy hospital to Toowoomba on a RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Helicopter

Patient airlifted to Toowoomba after accident.

Local Partners