An article in the Financial Review reports that the government’s changes to the 457 visa could limit Australian businesses the opportunity to be world leaders. With many businesses considering the option to move operations offshore – as global executives are being denied a path to permanent residency, able to only do a “two year stint” in Australia as well as the 45 year age limit – businesses see the government changes as potentially driving up the salaries of CEO and other high level roles if they are to be based in Australia.
Graincorp’s Mr Palmquist is among a host of leading CEOs on 457 visas including UK-born David Jones CEO John Dixon, Columbian-born Orica CEO Alberto Calderon and US-born private-equity KKR Australian head Scott Bookmyer, who will have to re-apply under the new rules when their visa expires.
Mr Palmquist’s 457 visa is set to expire in September and the company is looking at options for their chief executive. Mr Bradley complained it was a huge unwanted distraction and would cause major unintended consequences for future CEO recruitment.
Katie Lahey, a former BCA chief and now executive chair of recruiter Korn Ferry, said the 45-year age limit also presented a significant issue for executive recruitment given most global executives consider moving later in their career when their children have finished school.
“Many of our current CEOs and business leaders were born elsewhere (and have since taken citizenship) and have contributed an enormous amount to business and broader Australian society. We need to encourage the talented people to migrate here and transfer their knowledge and skills.”
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