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Fed Labor renews foreign worker visa push

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016

Labor has turned its attention back to visas for foreign workers and is calling for Australian employers to try harder to give jobs to locals.

The opposition wants jobs to be advertised locally for at least four weeks as part of changes to the 457 visa program.

"Our obligation is to employ people here with the skills and if they don't have the skills our medium and longer term ambition must be to train locals with those skills," employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor told ABC radio on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused Labor of "breathtaking hypocrisy".

Opposition leader Bill Shorten issued a third more 457 visas while he was employment minister than have been granted over the past year, and twice as many in the construction sector, the prime minister said.

"Bill Shorten was in the Olympic grade of granting 457 visas," he told reporters in Melbourne.

"This leader of the opposition is a rank opportunist, he is completely hypocritical on this issue."

Pauline Hanson said Labor was taking its cues from One Nation in its Australia-first approach to jobs.

"Australian workers, our culture, everything should be first - and to come out with this rhetoric now I'm not happy with it," she told ABC radio on Tuesday.

Senator Hanson said a lot of Australians were irate over the number of 457 visa holders and she wanted to see the program end.

"I blame Labor but I blame the Liberal party as well for the state of our country."

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