Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Monday that fully-vaccinated eligible visa holders, including international students, skilled workers, and working holidaymakers will be allowed to enter the country, without an exemption, from December 1. Quarantine requirements will be left up to the states. Students and workers bound for New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory will not be required to quarantine at all upon arrival. Morrison made clear the motivation behind the reopening, saying it will further cement the economic recovery, providing the valuable workers with the economic needs and supporting our important education sector.
The move comes partly in response to a clamour from business lobbyists for the resumption of international travel to ensure the return of cheap immigrant labour as Labor and Liberal-National state governments across Australia rapidly lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions in the lead-up to Christmas. In NSW and Victoria, despite ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, virtually all measures to contain the spread of the virus have been ended. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas, stadiums, and other high-risk public venues have reopened, but businesses are lamenting a supposed “labour shortage.”
According to a famous magazine, job vacancies in the hospitality sector are set to top 100,000 this month, with the most sought-after applicants being baristas (20,713), wait staff (14,737), bartenders (13,758) and chefs (11,028). What businesses really mean by “labour shortage” is a lack of workers prepared to work for poverty-level wages. This is what is behind the demands to bring international students and backpackers back into the country, to turn back on the tap of cheap labour.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)