Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says he has "personal evidence" Australians are having trouble finding work in the mining and other industries because overseas workers are filling jobs through the 457 visa program.
The government has announced a clampdown on the 457 temporary foreign worker visa program, which it said was required to address abuses and ensure Australian workers get first preference for jobs.
However, it has since been under pressure to provide evidence the system was being rorted, with the opposition saying the intervention was based purely on union rhetoric.
Speaking to reporters in Canberra today, Mr Swan said he had "personal evidence" the visa scheme was preventing local workers finding jobs.
"I'm frequently approached in my electorate by people who I know to be quite well qualified, hard-working Australians, who are looking to get jobs in certain sectors and find it hard to actually get there," Mr Swan said.
"My summation of this is that there is a bit of a problem in parts of mining sector, where Australians are not necessarily getting a look in first as they should, where they are appropriately qualified and willing and able to work."(But) it's not only the mining sector where this is an issue."
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