Mr HAWKE (Mitchell) (13:30): I'm pleased to present to the House petition EN4579. This is a petition of 804 Australians who are asking the House to make special provisions for Bangladeshi low-skilled workers to be recruited by Australian government agencies to fill skills shortages in rural Australia as agricultural workers, fruit pickers and low-skilled city professions on temporary work visas.
This issue goes, of course, to the labour shortage that Australia is facing, the regional shortages that we've seen across Australia. In government the coalition proposed the ag visa. This was an innovative visa attempt to show that we could bring in low-skilled workers to fill regional and rural shortages, similar to the PALM scheme, which the coalition created and which has been so successful for Pacific workers. The ag visa was a real policy reform that would have delivered answers and solutions to people in regional Australia, to our productive sectors that are desperate because of these labour shortages.
This petition is from Australians of Bangladeshi descent who know that there are pools of workers in the South-East Asian region—fantastic countries, fantastic people—willing to come here and do this work and fill this labour shortage for great wages. This is an important petition for the House. The government should really look at the decision not to proceed with the ag visa. It is a vital piece of economic reform to make sure that we can get and fill and address a critical economic gap in our rural areas and our regions. This petition shows there is huge support in Australia for these visas.
The petition read as follows—
There are global competition for law abiding Low Skill Agricultural workers and Bangladeshi Low Skilled Workers has proven their usefulness in Europe and Middle East as Obedient and law abiding hard working people. As a results Greece is also recruiting Thousands of Bangladeshi Agricultural Workers as Fruit Pickers for 5 years temporary migrant visa extendable to permanent residency after the 5 years periods. I believe if Australian Government recruit Bangladeshi Low Skilled Workers through its own agency as it was done by UK Consulate in 1960-1970 from Bangladesh they will help to fill the gap of the necessary skill shortage in Rural Australia and in cities for cleaning and other low skilled professions. https://www.adelaide.edu.au/stretton/news/list/2021/10/21/a-global-battl... "Fifteen to eighteen thousand of our people will be regularised and 4,000 fresh agricultural workers will be recruited from Bangladesh every year under this framework" he mentioned. https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/national/greece-to-hire-bangladeshi-f... Greece to hire Bangladeshi farm hands FE REPORT | Published: July 24, 2022 09:37:22 The Greek Parliament has approved a deal signed between Bangladesh and Greece paving the way for recruiting 4,000 agricultural workers annually, the foreign ministry said on Friday. It will also help regularise nearly 18 thousand Bangladeshis staying in the southeast European country.
We therefore ask the House to make special provisions for Bangladeshi Low Skilled Workers to be recruited by Australian government agencies to fill the skill shortages in Rural Australia as agricultural workers, Fruit Pickers and Low skilled city professions on a temporary workers visa. This will open a huge source of Low skilled workers.
from 804 citizens (Petition No. EN4579)