ALREADY hit by a workforce eroded by a long-standing resources boom, primary producers are now going to be faced with more paperwork as they try to fill in the gaps.
The Federal Government has announced changes to the overseas skilled visas - better known as 457s - in an effort to stamp out abuse from employers who may choose foreign workers over Australian nationals when locals are available.
Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor told media on Saturday those wanting to use foreign skilled labour would have to comprehensively show they had no other option.
The foreign workers chosen to use these visas would also be required to have better English-speaking skills than what was previously enforced.
The government has been regularly criticised by Australian unions who are opposed to using international workers when there remains some unemployment in Australia.
It's not about picking someone over another, we just need someone to fill that role.
Often regional jobs may go unfilled because those who need work may not travel inland or away from metropolitan areas to work.
AgForce Queensland chief executive Charles Bourke said it made accessing these workers harder for those who needed it.
For producers, there would be little problem in proving the skills crisis, Mr Bourke said, but it may mean more forms to fill out.
He said any worker with any skill, whether mechanic, boilermaker or machinist were often snapped up by the resources industry.
"You only have to talk to regional machinery dealers trying to access labour to work on equipment," Mr Bourke said.
"We're suffering a huge shortage.
"We need to make sure we don't see restrictions that make it harder to apply."
As for the threat of ignoring local workers for an overseas option, Mr Bourke said it was far more serious than that.
"They're not looking past somebody else, there is sometimes absolutely no supply of labour," he said.
"It's not about picking someone over another, we just need someone to fill that role."
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