THE FEDERAL opposition believes the government has yet to win over key crossbenchers to support its crackdown on temporary visas for skilled foreign workers.
The government has legislation before parliament on Wednesday that requires employers to make every effort to employ Australians before resorting to foreign workers.
The workplace watchdog will be given increased powers to monitor the visa scheme, with a 10-fold increase in the number of compliance inspectors.
The opposition wants a parliamentary inquiry to look at the legislation before MPs are asked to vote. It says Labor has yet to secure the support of the crossbench to have its bill clear the lower house.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Peter Slipper have both indicated they have concerns about the measures.
“The government doesn’t have this in the bag,” he told Sky News.
“That’s why they were trying to bring it on last night to ram it through the parliament.”
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor says the government will provide Mr Oakeshott with the information he needs.
“But we’re at the point where the parliament must decide,” he told ABC television.
“I think they will look to ensure that employers have to look local first before they seek temporary labour from overseas.” – AAP