As of March 2, 2017, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has ended the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement, which the Gillard government introduced in 2012 due to a labour shortage in fast food workers.
Around 500 workers were brought in on the agreement, with McDonalds bringing in nearly 300 employees, KFC bringing in nearly 100 employees and Hungry Jack’s bringing in about 70 employees.
Foreign workers brought in on the fast-track 457 visas, as fast food retail managers and fast food retail supervisors, will be made to leave Australia once their visa has run out, unless their employer can present a strong case for each individual as to why they should remain in the country, and must show that there is no readily available qualified Australian worker who can take the position.
At a press conference in Canberra, Mr. Dutton announced “Australian workers, particularly young Australians, must be given priority” and stated that “Fast-track arrangements for the fast-food industry … are not consistent with putting Australian workers first.” The move has been met with mixed reactions of praise and criticism.
However, Mr. Dutton advised that genuine business needs for overseas workers will still be considered, and the Fast Food sector will still be able to apply for visas through the regular 457 visa process.
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