Local workers, unions and advocacy organisations have had an opportunity to discuss the challenges facing vulnerable workers and recently resettled refugees under the Turnbull Government; at a series of round tables hosted by Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters.

Ms Chesters welcomed Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Shayne Neumann to Bendigo today to talk to groups – such as the Bendigo Trades Hall Council – about ensuring local jobs for local workers.

Ms Chesters and Mr Neumann spoke with local workers about their experiences and discussed what safeguards should be in place to protect all workers and stop harmful exploitation – including temporary workers, such as people on working holiday visas.

“It is unacceptable we are seeing such appalling mistreatment of workers in Australia under the Turnbull Government,” Mr Neumann said.

Recent cases of dodgy labour hire companies who engage in unscrupulous practices not only rip off vulnerable workers, but hurt all Australian workers by undercutting wages and conditions.

Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Shayne Neumann says Labor is committed to listening to the concerns of workers and communities across Australia.

“It’s clear to me that people in the Bendigo are passionate about ensuring local workers have the first shot at local jobs whilst protecting vulnerable workers from serious exploitation.

If an employer can exploit the pay and conditions of workers, they’ll exploit them in other ways too, and all the Liberals have done is set up taskforce after taskforce without taking serious action,” Mr Neumann said.

Mr Neumann and Ms Chesters also met with Bendigo Community Health Refugee Resettlement team to hear first-hand about the recent successes of the local refugee resettlement service.

Ms Chesters commended Bendigo Community Health Refugee Resettle team on the vital support role they play, and the importance of ensuring health, education and employment needs of our newest Australians are met.

“Recently resettled refugees face additional barriers into work and it’s great to have Bendigo Community Health working with local businesses and industries for local employment opportunities.

The effort being made to match recently resettled refugees with genuine job opportunities helps grow the local economy and engage new residents with the Bendigo community,” Ms Chesters said.

“I appreciate the opportunity to hear more about the good work being done in the local community – from protecting all Australian workers to welcoming refugees – and want to thank Lisa for inviting me to Bendigo,” Mr Neumann said.