SUPPORT: Senator Chris Ketter, Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Shayne Neumann at Auckland Point to discuss skilled migration and jobs in Central Queensland.
SUPPORT: Senator Chris Ketter, Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Shayne Neumann at Auckland Point to discuss skilled migration and jobs in Central Queensland. Matt Harris

Beers brings out big guns for jobs fight

LABOR candidate for Flynn Zac Beers continued his push to claim the seat from incumbent Ken O'Dowd as he welcomed Senator Chris Ketter and Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Shayne Neumann to town yesterday.

The trio came together to discuss jobs in Central Queensland, specifically skilled migrants who may be employed ahead of locals.

Mr Beers brought Mr Neumann and Senator Ketter to Gladstone to talk to groups such as Gladstone Engineering Alliance and Gladstone Area Group Apprentices, about ensuring local workers get the first shot at local jobs.

"We want to make sure that whenever a company is considering using foreign labour they go through a legitimate process before exploring that option and making sure that the local labour market is exhausted,” Mr Beers said.

"We know we've got a government in power now who isn't fair dinkum about making sure locals get first opportunities for jobs in our region.

"We have a policy as the Labor Party that will make sure there's legitimate market testing and we can make sure locals get first opportunity.”

Mr Neumann echoed the sentiments.

"We need to put local workers and jobs first,” he said.

"We've got to do that by supporting proper local labour market testing.”

Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers and Senator Chris Ketter at Auckland Point, Gladstone to discuss skilled migration and jobs.
Zac Beers and Senator Chris Ketter. Matt Harris

Senator Ketter labelled the issue "a disgrace”.

"Unfortunately we currently have a member for Flynn who voted with the government against Labor's amendments to ensure there was proper labour market testing,” he said.

"That's a disgrace. We need proper attention to this issue and Zac understands the importance of local jobs.

"In this country we have around one million temporary work visas in place and there's the potential for exploitation of workers as a result of that.

"That's well documented and Labor will address these issues in government.”

The three men also held a meeting with the Gladstone Multicultural Association to discuss the vital support role they played in ensuring the health, education and employment needs of the newest Australians in Gladstone are met.