Decision on Allseas Construction and the Migration Act

30 May 2012

The Dean, Professor Gillian Triggs recently commented on the Federal Court decision to allow Allseas Construction to employ foreign workers in Australian waters without 457 visas.

Allseas is laying the pipeline for a natural gas project off the coast of WA and the Federal Court ruledthat itdoes not need to obtain 457 visas for its 125 overseas employees.

Allseas successfully argued their employees on two boats are not working in Australia's migration zone, and do not need work visas.
Further, it argued the two boats laying the pipeline were not permanent resource installations, fixed to the Australian seabed, and therefore could bypass the need for visas.

In a report aired on ABC TV's Lateline, Professor Triggs commented, "I was initially a little surprised because I felt that Australia had a clear right to regulate a resource activities of that kind on the territorial sea, or on the continental shelf, but when you look at the legislation in detail and look at the reasoning of the judge, one can be very sympathetic with the reasoning that underlay the decision.

"We may need to review the current legislation to see whether it really is keeping up with the realities of technology.

"But also with the realities that in some areas there will be expert skills that will come internationally, and how we regulate that."

View the transcript and the footage - Anger over foreign workers in Australian waters - ABC TV Lateline

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 2f5d031777071d014208082f42221d28364e3d36082b6a072b371e521e