Australia visa curbs on Indian techies to prevent IT job losses

Sydney, September 16,2004
Asian News International

Australia has reportedly decided to impose curbs on the granting of temporary work visas to computer programmers from India, China and Russia following opposition concerns over the high rate of local unemployment in the technology sector.

The federal government's decision to clamp down on Indian, Chinese and Russian computer programmers arriving in Australia was initiated after Opposition IT spokeswoman Senator Kate Lundy raised objections to local recruitment firms using the "457 (temporary) Visa" for importing "cheap and skilled" labour from the above three countries.

"It is a reasonable assumption that the expansive use of IT workers from overseas here on temporary work visas over the last few years has contributed to the ongoing, higher than average levels of unemployment in the IT sector," The Australian quoted Senator Lundy as saying while recently unveiling the Labor Party's IT policies at a function in Brisbane.

"That's why Labor believes that the sensitive and timely management of Australia's temporary skilled migration program is necessary," she added.

Admitting that it was essential for the federal government to maintain a skilled migration program to keep pace in the fast moving industry, Lundy said that her party would prefer to promote and expand the female workforce in the industry.

Presently only 20 per cent of the tech workforce is female.