The week that was – 21 April 2017

Ross Greenwood Newsletter 21 April 2017


“Is this an acknowledgement that many Australian families right now are struggling because of the casualisation of the Australian workforce?

 And the truth is that there are many families even now we know in mortgage stress simply because they cannot get the hours that they could’ve got perhaps two or three years ago.”


The Turnbull Government abolishing the 457 Visa’s was the major event this week.

And it caused quite a mixture of opinions.

Good riddance I say!

The Turnbull government finally found a piece of public policy that getting rid of it, the public will embrace.

And it also does some good for the country.

I will admit I found it quite reminiscent of the US President Donald Trump, with the headline Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been using for this:  ‘Putting Australian Workers First’.

It did resonate something of Donald Trump in his inauguration speech, basically saying it was time to put American workers first and America first.

Turnbull said it was all about protecting our national interest.

But the timing of this whole thing is a bit suspicious with the federal budget due to be handed down in the forming weeks and a lot of Turnbull’s popularity and re-election potential rides on this Budget.

But look, don’t get carried away because there is more to be done.

First things first, skilled migrants are essential to our economy and our country.

In the past five years, between 2012 and 2017, our population has grown 2.4 million people to 24.2 million people.

So an extra 2 million people in the past five years and of those 2 million people, 1.2 million are the result of new overseas migrant. The other 800,000 is the result of natural population increase such as more births over deaths.

Now, at the moment, our entire population – 24.1 million – there are 95,000 on 457 visas. So that’s 95,000 of the 12 million people employed which is about 0.79 per cent of our total workforce. So it’s not much

But the problem is, some rorted that system.

People with poor skills got into the country…many stayed.

Those without proper English, those with not much educational standards and even criminal checks weren’t insisted upon – Until Now.

The big question is, what about those workers, the 1.2 million, who arrived here over the past five years

Well, a quick check of the stats shows that since 2012, an extra 676,000 jobs have been created in Australia. So that’s the figures.

And extra 1.2million people came to Australia but only 676,000 jobs were created.

Sure, when people migrate here, they work, they bring their families, they support those families and pay taxes but the problem of underemployment in Australia is real.

In the Prime Minister’s own words, he says “these are all really important changes that protect the integrity of the migration system, ensure that the people who come here are the right people, they’ve got the right skills that are needed and they’re not displacing Australians from jobs, particularly those entry level jobs which are so important for young Aussies to get into the workforce.”

But this isn’t going to slow down our growing population and rising number of individuals who are in need full-time work, especially with the part-time and causal trends that are dominating right now.

The other big news was Amazon.

The US online shopping giant Amazon announced its arrival in Australia, and our home-grown retailers better watch their backs.

Amazon Marketplace launched online, releasing a statement inviting businesses to sign up to sell to consumers.

“We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses,” Amazon said.

It’s great news for shoppers, but will no doubt make our big retailers’ blood collectively run cold.

Among the online juggernaut’s proposed retail offerings will be Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry, fresh food delivery services which will aim to take on our major supermarkets.

Already the company is searching for warehouse space in our major cities and IT professionals to facilitate the venture.

Big electronics retailers across the nation will also be under pressure from the e-commerce behemoth.

JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman have both seen falls in share prices since the roll-out of Amazon began.

The nation’s total retail spend annually by the end of February was $304 billion, of which $11 billion was spent online. It’s that ever-rising 3.6 percent that Amazon is aiming for.

Some forecasters have predicted the retailer could have 25 per cent market share within eight years.

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