By The Pom QueenThe McGowan government’s decision to tear up the list that fast-tracked overseas workers to Western Australia has made it tough for Margaret River’s wineries and restaurants to put meals on customers’ plates during their peak new year trade.
There are simply too few local chefs and trained kitchen staff to cope, says Amelia Park Tavern’s resident chef Gary Wilkins, who moved to Margaret River eight years ago for the relaxed lifestyle.
“We’re struggling to get help and there’s a limited number of good local chefs,” he says. It has taken the importation of seven temporary chefs, one flown in from Sydney, to keep operating Amelia Park’s kitchen.
“It costs management a lot more money to get people in,” Wilkins said. The labour cost — more than double the normal rate of about $25-$30 an hour — can reach nearly $100 an hour in some cases, when labour-hire company fees are included.
Shortly after taking office, Premier Mark McGowan made good on an election promise to slash occupations that could be filled by overseas workers. He said changed economic conditions required local jobs to be kept open for the more than 90,000 unemployed West Australians, but his government’s cuts to the eligible skills list — from 170 occupations to 18, none of them hospitality jobs — has left the sector shorthanded.
The government also withdrew Perth as a destination from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, which offers incentives to lure foreign visa holders to less populated areas.
Opposition tourism spokeswoman Libby Mettam said Perth’s hospitality industry was having difficulties recruiting staff as a result. “This is the first Christmas season for the hospitality and service industry where the impact of this shortsighted and ill-advised move is being felt,” she said.
The changes have hit just as a wave of new hotels, bars and restaurants is helping to diversify WA’s resource-dominated economy. And with direct flights due to start between Perth and London, and Asian tourism on the rise, good hospitality staff “is high on the list of needs”, she said.
“From a tourism perspective, there is no second chance in making an excellent first impression.”
By ContributorBeing a 30 year old male, who has been living in Australia for the last 1/3rd of his life, I can safely say I love the country and prefer it over India – my birthplace and my homeland.
I finished my Bachelors in Engineering back in India and was looking for options for places to pursue further studies and that offered future opportunities to develop a career. A good friend of mine suggested Australia as a fair land that offered multiple options and opportunities.
I started researching about Australia on the internet, came across a lot of websites offering tons of information on Australia and what to expect once here. I distinctly remember a website www.pomsinoz.com that was super detailed and answered most of my questions to a great extent.
The entire process of applying to universities and for a student visa was very simple and that’s when www.pomsinoz.com came in very handy.
The best things I love about the country are fairness, multiple and varied opportunities, the welcoming attitude of people you meet, the political system, the influence and actions of police, the judicial system, the abundance of nature beauty the country offers and thousands of kilometres of the coastline.
Ever since I have been here, the university I went, the part-time jobs I have had over time, whether it be working in hospitality or working the graveyard shift at a petrol station or working in a cleaning role, I have never had a bad racial experience, being a brown-skinned guy in a foreign country. I have always felt welcome and never had any negative experiences. In my current white collar job as an Operations Analyst, I feel very welcome, respected and listened to. I always get a fair say in the office and my opinions and ideas are considered with the importance that they deserve.
In India, you are only respected if you have a Government job or if you are a doctor. Other professions are not given the importance and respect that they deserve. In contrast, Australia regards all professions equally and provides everyone a fair chance to earn money and provide for their family
I love the sense of security that Australia offers via enforcement of the laws and rules and a fair judicial system. Unlike India, when I see a police officer around in Australia I feel safe and secure. I love the fact that the police are honest and not prone to bribery which is a huge issue back in India. I love how the people here are very obedient of the laws. For e.g. I have seen people stopping at a red light at 2am even when there is absolutely no one else on the roads.
The Judicial system here is fair and super quick at arriving at a decision whereby in India, cases drag on for tens of years and most of the time never get resolved.
I absolutely love the 5-day work week culture here as compared to the 6-day or sometimes 7-day work week back in India. The shorter work week gives everyone a chance to relax, rejuvenate and mingle with friends and family. This encourages better performance at work and thus a better output and results compared to someone working every single day without a break.
I love the fact that the Aussies know how to relax whether it be gathering at a barbeque or going out for a couple of drinks or partying hard once in a while. I am proud of having very good Aussie friends who treat me as one of their own and not a migrant.
Another thing I love about this place is the social events and gatherings that are organised. There is something available for everyone’s interests. Many events are kid-friendly and really entertaining. A lot of these happen in one of the many parks and gardens. These are very well maintained and a delight to hang out in.
I love how Australia has a great sporting culture participating in so many different kinds of sports. All sports get their own importance and fans who follow them religiously. As compared to India where Cricket is only sport they know of. I like how Australians follow sports and encourage kids to participate in sports from a very early age thus promoting health and well-being in kids.
And lastly, the best thing I love about Australia is the abundance of natural beauty Australia has to offer. Driving on the Great Ocean Road, camping at Warrnambool or the Grampians, skiing on Mt Buller, climbing up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, trekking in the Blue Mountains, wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania are only some of the activities I have done and have been amazed with the beauty of everything. There’s lots more to do and I cannot wait to experience more different activities.
By JPinJPHello there,
I am in the process of applying for my citizenship but I have come across an error while doing my online application through ImmiAccount. One of the items included in the application is the residence eligibility by way of using the residence calculator. I have been here in Australia since 2013 and while I have been deemed eligible and with the requirements "met" using the calculator, this doesn't seem to get me to go ahead with my application.
Has anyone had the same problem?
First Lawful Entry: 20 June 2013 (Tourist Visa) x 3 months
PR granted: 23 February 2016
By RDBHi, please can anyone advise on this who perhaps has similar experience...
I am British my decent, (born in Zimbabwe) so the only way I can pass British citizenship onto a new born child is if he/she's born in the UK.
We have been living in the UK for 3 years and plan to move to Aus on a 457 visa. Our intention is to try for a baby while living in Aus.
Do you know whether the baby would be able to get British Citizenship if born in Aus? I know that the baby would be added to our 457 visa if born there, but was wondering whether I could get him/her a Brit passport.
It would have been more straight forward if I was born in the UK, as I know then the baby would definitely be eligible....however that's not the case
By EBall123Hey Everyone,
I applied for my second year visa on the 19th of Dec and haven't heard anything. My boyfriend and I worked on the same farms for the same time and he got his visa approval back straight away. The only question we answered differently was that I had been outside of the UK for more than 6months. Is it because I out this that it is taking longer?
We wanted to fly back out on the 23rd of Jan bit worried it will take ages as some people have said they are still waiting 2/3months later? My mum is flying out in the 4th of Feb so I hope I get it!
Please help with any other similar stories or why you think it is taking so long? I am really stressing!