The Federal Government has announced plans this week to cut back on the record number of immigrants the nation is taking in, choosing to target students and low-skilled workers in their reductions.

Many international students who come to Australia to study are forced to work illegally to make ends meet. It’s something that only stands to benefit business, and big business at that. The lost tax revenue, from the worker and multinational organisations such as Menulog or Uber Eats, contributes to this problem.

Nevertheless, with the government announcing plans to cut the main wellspring of exploitable workers who don’t know their rights and don’t want to rock the boat, who will fill the underclass void?

Industries like aged care, disability support work, and hospitality depend on having a large pool of workers to call on to do jobs that most unskilled migloos feel they’re above. The government needs to consider what they’ll do when the tap is turned off.

Can they force young migloos to work in a concessional dementia ward of a nursing home? Probably not. Working for minimum wage isn’t fun unless you’re working in hospitality when the publican or restaurant owner is either paying you for 8 hours when you’re working 10, or they’re just not paying people super.

When it’s raining outside and your tummy is rumbling, who is going to be there for you to summon via some dreadful app to bring you a beef Pad Thai and a can of Coke?

Certainly not some private school chungus on a rented e-bike. It will be a student who came here to learn but is forced to work.

Learn at an institution like The Diamantina College of Business Studies, which offers a three-year degree to international students who don’t even need to attend classes to receive it. They don’t even need to sit exams. They just need to find AU$51,857 and give it to the college.

Our economy is underpinned by people digging things out of the ground, organised crime groups in China laundering money in the property market, old people speculating on property, and tertiary education. Very few of them attend top-flight universities such as the Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and Charles Sturt University (Bathurst and Dubbo campus only). Many attend bottom-tier institutions like Sydney’s Notre Dumb University and the University of Sydney, where they are exploited.

The Federal Government needs to make an informed decision. If they make the wrong one, those getting rich off the labor of student visa holders will be the ones to suffer.

More to come.


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