Rex warns of grave consequences to regional Australia with new ruling on professional work visa

    Regional Express (Rex) warned (28-Apr-2017) against the Federal Government’s new ruling on professional work visas advising it will gravely affect essential air services to regional Australia. On 18-Apr-2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced wide-ranging changes to the Australian immigration programme, including abolition of the Temporary Work (skilled) visa (subclass 457). The changes see two occupations utilised by Rex completely removed from the official list of eligible occupations – Aeroplane Pilot and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics). Rex COO Neville Howell stated: “The removal of pilots and licensed engineers from the skills shortage list has been done without any aviation industry inputs besides the unions. We call upon the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to place an immediate moratorium on the changes to the 457 visa programme until a well-considered replacement list has been formulated reflecting the real needs of our economy”.