31 Aug 2007

Australian minister accused of scaremongering over Pacific migrant worker allegations

3:35 pm on 31 August 2007

The immigration spokesperson for Australia's Greens says the Immigration Minister is scaremongering with comments about

unskilled workers flooding into Australia.

The Minister, Kevin Andrews, says allowing unskilled workers into Australia would prompt a flood of Pacific Islanders arriving by boat.

The opposition Labor party is reportedly considering a guest worker scheme under which Pacific islanders could come to Australia temporarily to work in the agricultural sector.

Labor says it'll monitor the success of a trial of a regulated Pacific labour mobility scheme that New Zealand is running together with the World Bank before committing to such a scheme.

The Greens' Senator Kerry Nettle says Australia already allows labourers in for short term work.

"We're a country in a global world and that means workers move around and come and work in Australia every day and I think that's an important thing, for it to occur. But there's no reason why we should be scared by supporting our neighbours by having them coming and working in Australia."

Kerry Nettle