Turnbull Government Refuses To Rule Out Waiving Labour Market Testing In Future Trade Deals

Malcolm Turnbull’s tough talk on 457 changes has again been revealed to be nothing more than a con, after Trade Minister Steven Ciobo this morning refused four times to rule out waiving Labour Market Testing in trade deals the Government is negotiating. 

Malcolm Turnbull has said that testing if an Australian can do a job first before bringing in a foreign worker will be mandatory except where an “international obligation applies”. Source

That means it doesn’t apply to workers from China, Japan and Korea because the Coalition waived labour market testing requirements in trade deals.

This morning, the Trade Minister refused to rule out waiving this requirement in future trade deals.

CLARE: Steve you’re negotiating a number of deals with different countries at the moment – will you rule out waiving that responsibility on Australian companies to check first if there’s an Australian who can do the job before you bring in people from other countries?

CIOBO: See this is the thing Andrew and what Jason doesn’t tell you…

CLARE: Will you rule it out?

CIOBO: What Jason doesn’t say is that when they were in Government, they put in place three trade deals…

CLARE: You’re dodging and avoiding the issue.

CIOBO: Actually I’m answering it if you’d give me a chance to answer it.

CLARE: Well you’re dodging and avoiding. Will you rule it out? Will you rule it out?

CIOBO: Ok I’ll answer right now. When you were in power there were three FTAs you put in place – Chile, Malaysia and one in ASEAN. Labor never mandated requirements for labour market testing. Never did it.

CLARE: You’re wrong.  

JOURNALIST: Ok so moving forward?

CIOBO: Well we’re going to look at it and we’ll make sure that any free trade agreement we go into is entirely consistent with the announcement we just made.

7 Sunrise, 22 April 2017 

Malcolm Turnbull previously agreed to remove this requirement for workers coming from Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam as part of the ill-fated Trans-Pacific Partnership.

If Malcolm Turnbull removes this requirement as part of the trade deals he is currently negotiating it could potentially mean that up to three quarters of overseas workers are brought in without seeing if there’s an Australian who can do the job first.

The only job Malcolm Turnbull cares about saving is his own.