The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which represents more than 60,000 businesses, said the changes would improve the integrity of Australia’s visa programme.
Australia will abolish a temporary work visa popular with foreigners and replace it with a new programme requiring better English-language and job skills, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday.
Turnbull, struggling with poor voter approval ratings, rejected suggestions the visa policy change was in response to far-right wing political parties, such as One Nation, demanding more nationalistic policies.
But in a Facebook announcement Turnbull said: “Our reforms will have a simple focus: Australian jobs and Australian values.”
In a similar vein, U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday directing changes to a temporary visa programme used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill highly skilled jobs. The order is an attempt by Trump to carry out his “America First” election campaign pledges.
Turnbull said the visa change would attract better skilled workers and see Australians employed over cheap foreign workers brought in under the old 457 visa programme.