Labor backbencher Ed Husic insists there is an “important discussion to be had” on overhauling migration amid an internal tussle over the proposal.
Shadow Home Affairs Minister Kristina Keneally triggered the stoush at the weekend by aruging Australians must get a first go at jobs.
Speaking with Sky News, Mr Husic said the government’s current position to “import skills” was “non-sustainable in the long term”.
“There is a discussion to be had about favouring permanent migration over temporary workers. Through this crisis we have seen temporary workers abanonded. They have been brought here in big numbers … and left to fend for themselves,” he said.
“I think it is an important discussion to be had about the way in which migration is shaped into the long term and also taking into account the way the government has denied or held back opportuntiy for Australians from getting the skills they need to meet what employers want to see and they have just relied on the importation of skills instead of building them locally. “