On 25 February 2014, the Assistant Immigration Minister, Senator Michaelia Cash, announced the government’s decision to review Australia’s 457 visa program. 

Senator Cash said that the decision to commence the review was driven by skill shortages and need to improve productivity growth. Last year, the Coalition opposed the former Labor government’s reintroduction of the requirement for employers to advertise locally before they can sponsor overseas workers.

The Assistant Minister said that this review will aim to “provide recommendations on how to maintain the integrity of the 457 visa program, while not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on business.” A four-member panel, led by former public servant John Azarias and including Professor Peter McDonald, lawyer Katie Malyon and ACCI director Jenny Lambert, will conduct the review.