8 February 2021

Colin Long: “In the recent public discussions about the future of Federal Government pandemic assistance — especially JobKeeper — little consideration has been given to the truly staggering figure of 700,000 workers on temporary visas losing their jobs. Even less recognition has been given to the fact that this was in fact the goal of the Morrison Government. The JobKeeper scheme was designed in a way that ensured employers would sack workers on visas. Say I am an employer with ten staff, five of whom are on short-term visas. My turnover has decreased by half. Five of my staff will be eligible for JobKeeper, so I will keep them on to do the work that I have remaining. The other five, on short-term visas, I will sack. Given the number of job losses among short-term visa holders, it is clear that this is what has happened on a wide-scale. Given it is obvious that this would be the result, and many people warned at the time of JobKeeper’s introduction that it would happen, it is clearly the government’s intention. It is the central plank of a strategy to purge the workforce of non-citizens.”