Skilled Migration Visa Dilemma Threatens Australian Businesses

Urgent Plea for Skilled Migration Visa Reform in South Australia

Visa :- In a desperate plea for action, Hafeez Ullah, the director and head chef of Naracoorte’s Pearl Continental restaurant in South Australia, is urging swift changes to the skilled migration visa program. As the visa agreements for three chefs approach their end in February, Mr. Ullah has faced a daunting challenge in finding replacements, despite advertising for over two months without a single applicant.

Visa Program for Skilled Migration

Mr. Ullah emphasized that the worsening staff shortage is not only impacting his restaurant but is a growing concern across multiple sectors in regional South Australia. Industries such as hospitality, tourism, aged care, and the automotive sector are feeling the pinch, threatening the stability of businesses in outer-regional areas.

The recent changes to the South Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) program for 2023-24 have triggered this crisis. With the federal government reducing state nominations from 8,800 to 2,300, three streams, including the outer regional stream, were removed from the program. This alteration in policy is exacerbating the already critical shortage of skilled workers in the region.

Calls for Urgent Visa Policy Review

Hafeez Ullah stressed the need for immediate policy reviews at both the federal and state levels. He highlighted the potential exodus of skilled migrants from outer-regional South Australia if the requirement to move to regional areas for permanent residency is removed.

“This is a federal issue, but after the 70 per cent reduction in numbers, the state government needs to take action to support us in outer-regional South Australia,” he asserted.

Independent state MP Nick McBride and Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, echoed the urgency for change. They expressed concern over the difficulties faced by regional South Australian businesses in attracting skilled workers due to recent federal decisions.

Naracoorte Lucindale Mayor Patrick Ross emphasized the broader implications, stating, “These family-owned businesses are going to struggle. It’s an absolute disaster. We need to get this turned around as quickly as we can for the sake of small businesses in regional SA.”

Temporary Measures and Alternative Pathways

South Australian Industry Minister Susan Close clarified that the outer-regional category was always intended as a temporary measure during the pandemic.

She added that alternative migration pathways, such as the Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs), remain available to support regional employers. Occupations eligible for nomination through DAMAs include chefs, cooks, and hospitality supervisors and workers.

Also Read :- Meena Seshamani: A Vision for Health Transformation

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.