Thoroughbred Breeders Australia President Basil Nolan has expressed his delight at changes to the 457 visa program which will allow the industry to employ skilled workers from overseas.
After initially axing the scheme, the Federal Government has amended the policy to help overcome an ongoing staff shortage issue.
“On behalf of the TBA, I would like to thank the government for listening to breeders, as well as the broader racing industry, on our needs,” said Nolan. “We don’t employ big numbers of foreign workers, but those that are here are a vital part of the workforce and in a global business, such as breeding, we need to continue to have access to these highly skilled people.
“We also owe thanks to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who met with us to discuss this issue face-to-face and gave us a commitment he would assist on our behalf.”
Racing Australia has also welcomed the Federal Government’s changes to Australia’s skilled migration occupation lists.
“We commend Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s early acknowledgement of the potential problems faced by the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry and his department’s efforts to resolve them,” Racing Australia CEO Barry O’Farrell said. “The visa modifications will be applauded by the 65,000 people working in the industry across regional and metropolitan areas.
“Racing Australia looks forward to working with Federal and State Governments to ensure the new Skilling Australians Fund helps to equip Australians with the skills and training required to fill critical jobs in horse racing and breeding.”