A response from the Immigration Department increases pressure on the Liberal Government to explain why more than 130 foreign workers were employed of the Spirit of Tasmania upgrades.

The Immigration Department has confirmed there was no formal labour market testing before more than 130 foreign workers were employed on the project.

“Labour market testing is not required in the case of sub-class 400 visas,” Mr Green said.

“The Liberal Government must explain what “highly specialised” work was unable to be carried out by local workers and contractors.

“The Immigration Department has confirmed around 130 foreign workers were flown in to work on the Spirit refurbishments.

“The Liberals promised the work on the Spirits would be completed by local workers and businesses but failed to deliver.

“Remember that the Government initially denied reports that there were 100 foreign workers employed on the project.”

Minister Rene Hidding said: “Spirit I is currently being refurbished in a compressed timeframe during its scheduled dry dock in Sydney in order to ensure continuity of service. Of the 156 workers, the vast majority are Australian.”

“The Minister has been caught out,” Mr Green said.

“There’s pressure on the Government to give specific examples of the type of work that Tasmanians were unqualified to carry out.

“We know local businesses have been frustrated over the way the $31.5 million project has been rolled out.”
Bryan Green MP Labor Leader