Labor backs China free trade agreement

LABOR has announced it’s struck a deal with the Turnbull government to get legislation for the China free trade agreement through federal parliament.

Senator Penny Wong said the decision was endorsed by caucus this morning and that the safeguards were “comprehensive”.

“The package that we have agreed with the government delivers legal safeguards in these three areas,” she said.


Labour market testing will be written into migration regulations.

The “market salary rate” for 457 visa workers will be the enterprise bargaining agreement rate applicable in that location.

Foreign workers must obtain an occupational licence within 90 days to get a 457 visa.

The Immigration Department must be notified if a licence is refused or revoked.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the deal delivered “proper” legal safeguards and protections for Australian jobs.

“Through the hard work of (trade spokeswoman) Penny Wong, working with (Trade) Minister Andrew Robb, Labor now has achieved what we believe to be satisfactory legal protections, which weren’t previously proposed,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“Labor can now support the speedy passage of the China-Australia free trade agreement.”

The enabling laws are expected to be debated in the lower house today.