Senator-Elect for Queensland, Murray Watt.
Senator-Elect for Queensland, Murray Watt. Allan Reinikka ROK160816awatt1

You might be surprised by which CQ industry has the most 457s


  • 665 in the Fitzroy region
  • 300 approved in 2015/16 financial year
  • 148 in Health Care and Social Assistance
  • 100 in Manufacturing
  • 81 in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • 78 in Construction
  • See the full list here

IF you thought the meatworks hired the most 457 visa holders in the region, you might be surprised.

An attack by the Australian Labor Party on the Liberal National Party representatives in the region has led to the revelation that it might not be the meatworkers topping the 457 visa list.

ALP Senator Murray Watt has attacked Capricornia MP Michelle Landry over her lack of action to push local employers to employ local workers, revealing there are 665 people in the Fitzroy region with 457 visas as of September 30.

Of those, 300 were approved in the 2015/16 financial year alone.

Breaking those 665 down by Sponsor Industry is Health Care and Social Assistance at the top of the list with 148.

Mr Watt is in Rockhampton today to meet with union and community leaders to talk about 457 visas.

Mr Watt explained that people employed at the meatworks could be sponsored under different industries, depending on their skill set.

His attack against Ms Landry comes as Queensland's unemployment rate 5.8% in September and Youth unemployment was even higher at 8.7%.

However, according to the Queensland State Government's website about youth unemployment, the comparison shows a decrease in the youth unemployment figure in the past 12 months.

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The website shows youth unemployment was at 14.4% in September 2015.

"(Capricornia MP) Michelle Landry is doing nothing to pressure local employers to give locals a go," Mr Watt said.

"Ms Landry's own government is making it too easy for dodgy employers to pass over local job seekers in favour of overseas workers.

"Even Dawson MP, George Christensen, has finally jumped on the bandwagon, saying he will be writing to Malcolm Turnbull about 457s."

Mr Watt then went on to talk about what the Australian Labor Party is doing for Australian workers.

"This week, Labor Leader Bill Shorten committed to make employers try harder, to find local workers and to train up locals," he said.

"Labor will toughen rules to make sure that where there are local workers ready and willing to work, employers will have to advertise and genuinely try to fill jobs with local workers, before looking overseas."

While The Morning Bulletin requested a response from Ms Landry's office, it was Senator Matt Canavan who responded.

The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia said Senator Watt was too far removed from Central Queensland in his Brisbane-based office to be qualified to make comments about jobs in the region.

Mr Canavan said that if Labor wanted to create jobs it should support the Adani coal mine and Rookwood Weir projects.

"This week, Opposition leader Bill Shorten visited Townsville and Mackay without once mentioning the Adani Carmichael coal project," he said.

"It's the biggest thing on the drawing board up here and would create thousands of jobs throughout Central and North Queensland.

"The same goes for Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River, a project for which the Coalition has already committed $130 million - 50% of the construction cost - but you never hear the Labor party say anything positive about it."

CQ 457 visas

  • Accommodation and Food Services - 74
  • Administrative and Support Services - <5
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing - 81
  • Construction - 78
  • Education and Training - 18
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services - 5
  • Financial and Insurance Services - <5
  • Health Care and Social Assistance - 148
  • Information Media and Telecommunications - <5
  • Manufacturing - 100
  • Mining - 70
  • Other services - 48
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical - 18
  • Public Administration and Safety - <5
  • Retail Trade - 7
  • Transport Postal and Warehousing - 7

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