Australia Visa Scams – Immigration Minister Issues Warning

The new Australian Immigration minister, Chris Bowen, has issued a warning to prospective migrants about migration scammers.

“It is vital that people are aware of fraudsters’ tricks before handing over money for immigration assistance which is never provided,” Mr Bowen said.

“This is why the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has launched a new online consumer protection resource to help people to learn about migration scams online and safeguard against scams.

The ‘Protect Yourself from Migration Fraud’ information kit includes victims’ stories, tips to stay safe online, information on how to identify non-genuine websites and fraudulent emails, links to consumer resources and a video testimonial.

A common tactic of these sites is the use of language such as ‘registered provider’ or ‘Australian visa application service. They claim that they can ‘guarantee’ a visa, this is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ or it is your ‘only chance’ to travel or migrate to Australia.”

In the most prevalent scam, clients are invited to register online before a salesperson contacts them and asks them to provide credit card details. Charges are then debited to their card but no migration services are provided.

Migration fraud involves illegal operators posing as migration professionals. In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

The information kit has been developed following an increase in complaints about internet migration scams, which often appear to be official Australian Government websites.

To find out more information about Australian migration scams visit

Work In Australia With Engineers Australia

Engineers Australia have launched an initiative to bring engineers and prospective employers together in their new website You don’t have to be a member of Engineers Australia to use the service. Having an employer who will sponsor you makes the process of attaining a visa so much easier. I think this service will help Irish engineers find Australian employers.


Skilled Migration to South Australia Interim List Released

The South Australian Government has made it clear that it can wait no longer and has released an interim state sponsorship list.  The recent federal election and subsequent cabinet reshuffle, which included the appointment of Chris Bowen as the new minister for immigration, have delayed the implementation of the State Migration Plan and the State Sponsored Migration List and this has highlighted South Australia’s job shortage.

The final list may be slightly different, I expect it to be larger, but this interim list is South Australia’s way of saying ‘We need these people now!’

If your occupation is on the list below contact me and we can discuss your options.

Below are the occupations included in the South Australian State Sponsorship Interim Occupation List:

  • Construction Project Manager
  • Project Builder
  • Engineering Manager
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Surveyor
  • Cartographer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Structural engineer
  • Transport engineer
  • Production or Plant Engineer
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Veterinarian
  • Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Medical Radiation Therapist
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  • Sonographer
  • Optometrist
  • Chiropractor
  • Dental Specialist
  • Dentist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Podiatrist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • General Medical Practitioner
  • Anaesthetist
  • Specialist Physician (General Medicine)
  • Cardiologist
  • Medical Oncologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Intensive Care Specialist
  • Neurologist
  • Paediatrician
  • Specialist Physicians nec
  • Psychiatrist
  • Surgeon (General)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Urologist
  • Dermatologist
  • Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Pathologist
  • Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist
  • Radiation Oncologist
  • Medical Practitioners nec
  • Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)
  • Registered Nurse (Community Health)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)
  • Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
  • Registered Nurse (Surgical)
  • Registered Nurses (General)
  • ICT Business Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Developer Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Telecommunications engineer
  • Telecommunications network engineer
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Psychologists nec
  • Social Worker
  • Civil Engineering Draftsperson
  • Civil Engineering Technician
  • Electrical Engineering Draftsperson
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Radiocommunications Technician
  • Telecommunications network planner
  • Telecommunications technical officer or technologist
  • Automotive Electrician
  • Motor Mechanic (General)
  • Diesel Motor Mechanic
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Small engine mechanic
  • Metal Fabricator
  • Pressure Welder
  • Welder (First Class)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)
  • Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures)
  • Locksmith
  • Panelbeater
  • Vehicle Painter
  • Bricklayer
  • Stonemason
  • Carpenter and Joiner
  • Carpenter
  • Joiner
  • Painting Trades Worker
  • Glazier
  • Fibrous Plasterer
  • Solid Plasterer
  • Wall and Floor Tiler
  • Plumber (General)
  • Air conditioning and Mechanical Services
  • Drainer
  • Gasfitter
  • Roof Plumber
  • Electrician (General)
  • Electrician (Special Class)
  • Lift Mechanic
  • Air conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic
  • Electrical Linesworker
  • Electronic Equipment Trades Worker
  • Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General)
  • Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (Special
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Prosthetist
  • Dental Technician
  • Dental Therapist

Click here to download a PDF of the interim list.

Click here to visit the South Australian Government website relating to this interim list.

Work In Australia For Graduates

A new website has just been launched which should help graduates find work in Australia.  The Website is and is a joint venture between Australia based student newspaper HomepageDaily and JobServe, a UK based online recruitment agency.

The intention is to provide a useful addition for recruiters and corporations looking to fill vacancies requiring graduates.

JobServe will provide HomepageDAILY with a niche graduate job board that will be integrated into JobServe allowing graduate jobs on both sites to be cross-advertised.

Commenting on this partnership, Wendy Cowell, JobServe’s Global Online Sales & Business Development Manager said “This exciting new partnership and its graduate dedicated job board offers added value to our customers by providing them with the opportunity to show their graduate jobs in Australia and elsewhere around the world to hundreds of thousands of graduates.

This partnership creates the first real global graduate niche job board that will be hard to match by anyone. With our global leadership in online recruitment and HomepageDAILY’s access to the student and graduate community, it is a partnership made in heaven.”

Live In Australia It’s Oprah!

Tourism Australia pulled off a major coup last week when Oprah Winfrey announced she was taking the audience of her show to Australia.

That is 300 people for a 7 day, all expenses paid, trip to australia.

The deal has been a year in the making but came through suddenly when Oprah told Andrew McEvoy of tourism Australia’s Los Angeles office that she liked the idea so much she wanted to move her announcement forward from late October to the first episode of her new season.

At that point, says Mr McEvoy, ”It was all hands on deck. It was a bit of a shock to the system, but all our partners – Qantas, the Sydney Opera House, all these guys – came on board to make sure we could deliver what we were promising.”

Oprah’s production company, Harpo has committed to filming at least two programs in Australia.  The episodes will to go to air in mid-January, just before Tourism Australia’s ”G’Day USA” event kicks off in the week before Australia Day, and at the height of the US travel-purchasing season.  Tourism Australia is reluctant to put a dollar value on the Oprah exercise but it is possible to do a rough calculation.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that a 30-second advertising slot on Oprah typically sells for about $US100,000 (although the asking price for her final show next September is as much as $US1 million a spot). Assuming Oprah’s Australian shows are largely positive, there will be two programs at 43 minutes each extolling the virtues of this country. To buy that much advertising on the show would cost $US17.2 million. If there is a third show, that becomes $US25.8 million.

As Mr McEvoy says: ”We’ve obviously got our investment back in spades already, and all that programming is still to come.”

Oprah is in her 25th and final season – she is retiring her talk show next September to launch her own cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), next January.

Australian Immigration – New Minister Chris Bowen

As predicted Chris Evans has been replaced as Minister for Immigration. He has been moved to the position of Minister of Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.

His replacement is former Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation (pensions) and Corporate Law, Chris Bowen.

So what can we expect from this new Minister?

To judge from his record to date we can expect Minister Bowen to favor any migrant who can help the Australian economy.

He was elected to Parliament in 2004 as Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration. He was also a member of the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

In December 2006, he was elected to the Federal Labor Party’s frontbench and was the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Revenue & Competition Policy.

He was appointed Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs when the current Labor Government took power in 2007. In 2009, he was elevated to the cabinet and appointed Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, and Minister for Human Services.

I don’t expect there to be any major changes in the short term as a result of this new appointment. There may be slight changes to the State Migration Plans but these changes, if any, will reflect the new Minister’s appreciation for the real needs of the Australian economy for the next 2-5 years.

My assessment of Minister Bowen is that he is methodical and thorough. I predict that he will propose some insightful, forward thinking and possibly radical policy changes in 6-9 months time.

Immigration Australia and the New Government

17 days after the election, Australia finally has a new government. Current Prime Minister Julia Gillard has managed to retain power with a narrow, 1 vote, margin. So what are the implications for Australian migration? and more importantly what will it mean for you?

State Migration Plans

Well the first and most immediate implication will be that the skills shortage lists which form part of the State Migration Plans for each state, should be signed off by immigration minister Chris Evans and come into effect. This will have an immediate impact on anyone considering skilled migration. There are no major changes expected but keep checking here to stay informed of the changes as they are announced.

Whether Chris Evans continues as immigration minister remains to be seen. Mr Evans has been criticised within his own party for failing to contain the rival candidate, Tony Abbott from obscuring the real immigrations issues during the election campaign. Mr Abbott whipped up a media frenzy about border protection, asylum seekers and “stopping the boats”.

Regardless of whether Mr Evans retains his position or not, changes in immigration policy will be more to do with party politics than personality.

Longer Term Implications

Over the next 12-18 months the government will need tight rope balance to retain power, set policy, make good on promises and avoid infighting.

During the election campaign Ms Gillard came out strongly against her predecessor, Kevin Rudd’s vision of a ‘Big Australia’ saying she intended to cut net immigration from around 300,000 in 2009 to 145,000 by 2012.

Then the election happened and she had to start making deals. First with the Green party and then with the independent candidates who held the balance of power in the election. All three independents came from regional parts of Australia and understood the need for Skilled Workers to help improve the country’s infrastructure and economy.

Prime Minister Gillard has now revised her position and although an immigration cap is still expected to be implemented, she has indicated that she hopes to spread skilled migrants throughout Australia where they are needed most in order to achieve a “small and sustainable Australia”.

She will be ever conscious that one of the reasons Australia did relatively well compared to most other countries during the recent Worldwide economic downturn was because of the high levels of immigration.

The last time Australia had such a narrowly contested government was in 1940. The situation was very similar to what is facing the current government. Every policy and new piece of legislation will most likely be hotly debated. Pundits are predicting that this will hamstring the government and no real progress will be made.

History does not bear this out as the 1940-43 government has been described as, “the greatest in Australian history.” Already the independents have introduced procedures in the running of parliament that make it even more democratic.


I don’t expect many major changes to immigration policy within the next six months. When changes do come I expect they will be in favor of rural migration. The overall quota of migrants may not change but the distribution of migrants may be weighted to favor rural Australia.

Having said that if the last couple of months have shown anything it is that anything is possible in Australian politics. As alway I encourage you to get in touch sooner rather than later to find out what Australian visa you are eligible for and to begin the process as soon as possible.

Having an Australian visa in your passport does not mean you have to leave Ireland but it does mean you have options.

Jobs Australia Advertisements Rise

Following a strong increases over the previous three months from April to June, Australian job advertisements in newspapers and on the Internet rose in August for the fourth consecutive month.

The pickup in Australian business conditions is helping companies realize better earnings and to hire more workers, indicating that Australian economy is maintaining good momentum into the second half of the year.   It has historically proved to be a very good indicator of future labour market conditions and thus, is extensively relied upon for forecasting employment growth.

Australia Information – Melbourne

Melbourne, still the powerhouse by Rod Myer

MELBOURNE, the village John Batman founded 175 years ago in August 1835, has morphed into an economic monster that has swallowed the surrounding plains and woodlands that served as the base for the millenniums-old economy of the Wurundjeri people before European settlement.

The city’s economy is bigger than New Zealand’s, with 4 million people and a gross product of about $212 billion. And its manufacturing and service businesses give it a far more diverse and deep economic base than its trans-Tasman neighbour. It is home to some of Australia’s best-known business names and the staid business image it developed in the mid-20th century has been transformed as a host of new enterprises in areas like IT, biotech and financial services make their presence felt.

Not everything has been straightforward in Melbourne’s exponential growth path since 1835 and perhaps the experience of Batman himself was a harbinger. On arrival, he cut a deal with (he claimed) eight Wurundjeri leaders, receiving 2400 square kilometres of land in return for a cache of household goods and clothing and promises of the same every year as rent.

Two months later, Governor Bourke in Sydney annulled the deal, another settler – John Pascoe Fawkner – took up land in Batman’s village and the Wurundjeri lost their land and promised income. In 1839 the Melbourne Club made its home in Fawkner’s hotel.

Melbourne grew into a wattle and daub village servicing surrounding farms, until gold was discovered in July 1851, the same month Victoria became a separate colony. The result was a population explosion. At the start of the gold rush Melbourne had 20,000 people; two years later it had 123,000. By 1880 the population had more than doubled and by 1890 quadrupled.

The gold years made Victoria rich and in the 1850s Melbourne was one of the world’s wealthiest cities on a per capita basis. The banks were so full of gold they stopped paying deposit interest and the first significant land boom ensued.

All these people had to be serviced, accommodated, fed and transported, and after the gold rushes Melbourne started to grow into a more sophisticated economy, with manufacturing and services taking an important place in the city. Brewing, food processing, transport equipment (in those days predominantly horse-drawn), household goods and heavy equipment for the mining and agricultural industries continued to grow through the late 19th century. Newspapers proliferated and the outspoken David Syme took control of The Age in 1859, running fierce political campaigns for 40 years.

The railways were snaking out to the mining and pastoral centres like Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca, and construction of the web of suburban lines that allowed Melbourne to sprawl was well under way by the 1880s. As the ’80s progressed, the riches earned from mining and wool generated a huge land boom. ”Marvellous Melbourne” ballooned with the construction of edifices like Parliament and the Exhibition building, and everywhere what once was farmland was turned into suburbs, often with the arrival of a railway.

The boom became unsustainable, with land rising from 15 shillings a foot in Surrey Hills in 1884 to £15 three years on, and in Swanston Street from £400 to £1100 a foot at the end of the decade. In 1890 things began to unwind with frightening ferocity.

In 18 months from 1891, 20 financial institutions collapsed and 120 public companies went under. By the decade’s end there was hardly a bank that had not closed its doors at some point. One survivor was the forerunner of the State Bank of Victoria, which met its demise 100 years on. Unemployment reached catastrophic but then unrecorded levels and 50,000 people left the city in the early 1890s.

Despite all the gloom of the era, the late 19th century saw the development of significant enterprises that served as a base for later development. The 18-year-old H. V. McKay created his revolutionary Sunshine combine harvester, which transformed farm life in 1884, and went into production. His 30-hectare works in Sunshine (named after the machine) employed 3000 people at its peak in the 1920s.

Consolidation gradually transformed the myriad small factories that dotted the city after the gold rush into the industrial icons of the 20th century. Cardboard manufacturer APM (later Amcor) was put together from an agglomeration of small operators, Carlton & United Breweries swallowed smaller breweries like Foster’s and several independent tramway companies were combined in government ownership.

Hardware manufacturer McPhersons was formed in 1860 by William McPherson, who was later premier. It is still listed on the sharemarket, with a large homewares and printing business.

The rural economy contributed mightily to Melbourne’s wealth from its earliest days. When we rode the sheep’s back, the squattocracy from the Western District and elsewhere spent big on consumer goods, shares and property and often sent their children to the city for an education. The region was home to some of the big produce brokers and rural financiers like Goldsborough Mort, Dalgety and Australian Estates. The inner-western suburbs were until recently dominated by huge abattoirs, and the sprawling Newmarket saleyards survived in inner-urban Kensington until 1987.

Australia devoted massive resources and the lives of 60,000 of its young men to World War I. But when the fighting ended, people looked for respite and the consumer era dawned with the coming of the motor car and undreamt of electrical goods. That era was driven by an eclectic breed of business identities who made a mark in public life as well as commerce.

In the early 1920s the remarkable John Monash, already a pioneer in reinforced concrete, a promoter of community service, and Australia’s World War I military commander, oversaw the formation of the State Electricity Commission with the building of a power station in the Latrobe Valley coalfields. In 1922 a former swimming champion named Frank Beaurepaire invested £550 he had received for saving a shark attack victim, forming the Beaurepaire and Olympic tyre groups to manufacture tyres for the growing car industry. He was Melbourne’s lord mayor from 1940 to 1942.

The city’s retailing was revolutionised between the wars by two other great innovators: Russian-born Sidney Myer and George (G. J.) Coles, from Murtoa. Both men were inspired by US retailing developments and both listed on the stock exchange in the 1920s. Myer spoke directly to women with his advertising and Coles ran on the slogan ”Nothing over 2/6”. Myer won admiration funding public works and hosting free Christmas lunches during the 1930s Depression. Coles financed the construction of the Howard Florey medical research institute.

The 1929 crash hit Melbourne hard, with unemployment reaching 30 per cent. Businesses closed, land developers collapsed and young unemployed men took to the roads seeking casual work in the countryside. Recovery was slow through the ’30s but entrepreneurs still looked to new horizons. In 1936 a Western District bus operator named Reg Ansett took to the air with a six-seater Fokker Universal, laying the foundation for the airline that would bear his name until its 2001 collapse.

World War II sparked industrial development, with government factories producing munitions and aircraft at Fishermans Bend, Maribyrnong and Footscray. Post-war manufacturing built on this, with Holden producing its first vehicle in 1948. Ford, which had assembled cars at Geelong from the 1920s, moved to genuine production, and Toyota and Nissan followed later. Only Holden, Toyota and Ford remain.

The post-war years utterly transformed Melbourne, with a wave of European immigration bringing new cultural strands and a plethora of new entrepreneurs. Jewish refugees flocked to the rag trade where people like Sussan entrepreneur Marc Besen prospered, while the southern Europeans tended to favour retail and construction. Italian Australians Bruno and Rino Grollo added edifices like the Rialto to Melbourne’s skyline while Carlo Valmorbida and his family built a fortune in food importing.

Migration from Asia and elsewhere and the wholesale move of women into the workforce since the 1970s have created yet another new pool of business talent, like Jeanswest driving force Wilkin Fon, female business pioneer Eve Mahlab and company directors Margaret Jackson and Catherine Walter.

Then there’s the money game. Melbourne has a long history as a source and manipulator of capital, which in turn brought some of the country’s biggest companies to domicile here. Prominent among those names in the past was the Collins House group of companies, in which the Baillieu family were significant investors and which developed major mining operations, particularly in base metals.

Jonathan Binns Were started out in the 1840s trading land and produce but moved into shares when a rudimentary market evolved. He was inaugural chairman of the Melbourne Stock Exchange in 1865 and, despite a couple of bankruptcies, played an important part in the city’s financial and community life until his death in 1885.

Were started an independent broking tradition that lasted into the 1980s and beyond and included names like bond market pioneer Ian Potter and broker to the ’80s entrepreneurs John McIntosh. Following financial deregulation, the independent players were swallowed by international investment banks or local banking majors.

Even the venerable JB Were for a time joined US investment bank Goldman Sachs. Recently, Melbourne-based National Australia Bank bought 80 per cent of its private client arm and the company is again trading as JBWere. Another Melbourne broking stalwart, EL & C Baillieu, which dates to the 1880s, is now in partnership with international giant Credit Suisse, and the few independents remaining, like BGF and Austock, are niche players.

Melbourne funds management icon National Mutual was bought by French group AXA in the 1990s and is now being hunted by NAB and AMP. Two of the big four banks, NAB and ANZ, are still based in Melbourne. Finance is an international game today and big companies like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto (the former CRA) and Amcor still find Melbourne an attractive place to domicile and raise capital. And the city has become a centre of the industry super funds business, giving it a healthy slice of that sector’s $220 billion in funds under management.

Melbourne’s future will in part be built on the creativity and ability of new players finding niche markets among the international giants of the global age. Carolyn Creswell started Carmans Fine Foods 18 years ago and now sells what she calls packaged premium foods to Australian supermarkets, airlines and 26 international markets.

Jason Lohrey’s Arcitecta group is building a business in digital data-management technology. His customers include the CSIRO and the Howard Florey Institute, and and he has significant international arrangements.

Source: The Age

Live In Australia? Crocodile Dundee Would Gladly Swap With You.

“Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan has been accused of tax evasion by the Australian Crime Commission on $37.6 million of undeclared income.

Hogan’s artistic collaborator John Cornell and the pair’s financial adviser Tony Stewart were also accused in the Federal Court of lodging tax returns that contain “false and misleading statements”. The ACC alleges the statements were made to avoid their tax obligations and to “evade paying income tax in Australia”.

The actor haven’t left Australia due to the accusations and required to pay millions of dollars in back taxes.

Andrew Robinson, Hogan’s lawyer said in a statement that he was served with a departure prohibition order by the Australian Taxation Office when he traveled to Sydney for his mother’s funeral.

“The process of detaining Paul in Australia away from his wife and child in Los Angeles has devastated Paul,” Mr. Robinson wrote in a statement.

Mr. Hogan, who is based in the United States, denies the charges that was investigated by Australian officials who say he put film royalties in offshore tax havens.

Sashi Maharaj, QC, counsel for the commission of the Federal Court said that the criminal inquiry was ”virtually complete” and that the documents sought by the commission were ”fairly critical” to plans to charge the men.

The documents retrieved by The Weekend Australian, the tax office has told Hogan it is considering him an Australian resident for tax purposes for the years 1987 to 2005. During eight of those years, from 1995 to 2002, Hogan paid tax in the US, where he now permanently resides. From 2002 to 2005, Hogan lived in Australia.

No tax-related charges have been laid against Hogan, Cornell or Stewart, and all have denied any wrongdoing in relation to their tax affairs.