Stranded Australians will be sent to “the back of the queue” after government MPs called for more skilled migrants to fill jobs onshore, Labor says.
An inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program released its interim report on Thursday, recommending quarantine places and flights be set aside for skilled migrants.
Labor MP and committee member Julian Hill said the “outrageous” measure would shunt 40,000 Australians stranded overseas to make way for foreign workers.
“You can see it now, can’t you? Business class up the front of the plane for the migrants that business want to bring in, and cattle class down the back for the few stranded Australians who manage to get on the plane,” he said told parliament.
But Liberal MP and committee chair Julian Leeser played down that fear, saying Australia’s quarantine cap was “regularly adjusted” and keeping Australians safe would remain a priority.
“Skilled migrants would need to come in under the same conditions as any…