Remember those claims from some trade unions last year that the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) would allow Chinese companies to bring in their own workers?
Yet according to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the inflow of Chinese workers has slowed to a trickle.
In the first quarter of this year just 545 primary visa applicants from China were granted entry to Australia under the subclass 457 visa scheme. This is the main avenue through which companies access temporary skilled workers from overseas.
That compares with 9927 primary applicants from other countries. That is, China only accounts for 5 per cent of the total. More than three times as many workers from the UK were given visas.
And get this: the number of Chinese workers granted entry this year is a massive 32 per cent drop on the same period last year when ChAFTA didn’t exist. In contrast, the number of workers from other countries has only fallen by 16 per cent.
So it would appear that claims from the Unions are unfounded and not based on facts.
Originally article published in the AFR.