"Chinatown"-Official media of Chinese Australians

Australia’s largest blue-collar workers’ association asked the government to guarantee that jobs created by the removal of dozens of level-crossing railways in Melbourne will not fall into the hands of Chinese workers because of the newly signed China-Australia trade agreement.

The national and state leaders of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) are the latest group to have concerns about the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

They believe that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement relaxes restrictions on Chinese companies applying for 457 visas for Chinese workers to enter Australia for work.

In a letter to Prime Minister Albert, AWU hopes that the government will guarantee that the construction giant John Holland Group must hire Australian workers "as much as possible" to complete the Victorian government's $60 billion removal of level crossings. s project.

John Holland Group has been acquired by China Communications Construction Group.

They won a $5 million contract for the first phase of the demolition of the level crossing by the Victorian Andrews government. However, as the group changes ownership, it will be subject to the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

AWU's National Secretary Scott McDine and Victorian Secretary Ben Davis have said that the Victorian government plans to use this large-scale project to increase employment opportunities in Victoria, but they are deeply concerned that this hope may be dashed.

The letter said: "Victoria's infrastructure construction funds come from Victorian taxpayers, and the project should also use Victorian workers so that they can benefit from these job opportunities, not Chinese workers."

"However, because of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement signed by your government, local workers have lost guarantees of obtaining these jobs."

Assistant Minister of Immigration Affairs Michaelia Cash said that what the union is doing now causes unwarranted panic. The government's guideline for construction projects is to consider the local labor market first, and then foreign workers holding visas.

She said: “On the contrary, this historic free trade agreement provides a wider range of opportunities for all walks of life and will stimulate employment.”

The Andrews government stated that it would “do everything in its power” to ensure that local Australian workers are given job opportunities to remove 50 level crossing projects in Victoria and urged the Albert government to do the same.

A spokeswoman for the John Holland Group stated that the group has been required to use at least 93% of the total local materials and local materials when submitting bids for the removal of level crossings in Glen Iris, Bentleigh, McKinnon and Ormond. worker.

She said: "The project is currently in the procurement phase and is expected to achieve this goal."

"The job opportunities created by Victorian taxpayer-funded projects should benefit Victorian workers."

News compiled from "Times"

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