Scott Farquhar, co-founder of Atlassian, an enterprise software company, warned the Australian government that its proposed changes to the visa system could derail the growth of local tech companies and is already hurting the country, leading to the official report’s expected release in November second week.
The tech leader said although technology companies of Australia needed to import specialist leaders from abroad to develop their operations and train local staff, the government’s plan to block a smooth path to permanent residency would mean that many would be wary of entering their country.
Mr Farquhar was quoted by The Australian Financial Review as saying that the government of Down Under has done a lot to harm their reputation as a country where people would want to come and work.
Even as these new proposed reforms are yet to become law, the view that the government is airing globally is that Australia no longer welcomes outsiders, he said.
Only 981 temporary skilled visas were granted in the July to September quarter of 2017, an over 50 percent fall compared to the 2,058 granted in the same period of the 2016 and the lowest since 2009.
Speaking about his own company, Mr Farquhar said that quarter of its staff at its Sydney location is 457 visa holders. These workers did a lot to train and generate new jobs for Australian nationals, rather than stealing jobs of locals.
Meanwhile, Innes Willox, Australian Industry Group chief executive, warned the government against pruning the number of visa classes too much and said Australia needed separate classes for skilled workers, special talent and business and investment.
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