News

Visa change could force leading Whitsundays hotel to close

Coral Sea Resort general manager Greg Waites uses 457 visa workers because he can't find qualified Australians to fill the roles.
Coral Sea Resort general manager Greg Waites uses 457 visa workers because he can't find qualified Australians to fill the roles. Inge Hansen

A MAJOR Whitsundays hotel which has used the 457 visa scheme extensively could be at risk of closing due to a lack of experienced Australian staff to fill hospitality roles.

The claim was made by Tourism Whitsundays board member and Coral Sea Resort general manager Greg Waites, who said they struggled to get chefs and other qualified staff to move to Airlie Beach on a long-term basis.

"Successful kitchens require continuity, you can't have a revolving door,” Mr Waites said.

"Australians do not want to work in this environment for long periods of time continuously, you cannot get someone willing to commit for 2-3 years.

"We've had in the past a food and beverage manager, wedding and events co-ordinator, restaurant manager, we've had a front office manager, all on 457 visas.

"We have five people at any given time here on a visa and have had for the past seven years.

"I would have to close my hotel, if I didn't have 457 or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas, truly, I could not operate.”

He said all of his positions had been "widely” advertised before accessing the visa and all staff received the same salary as Australians.

These comments were echoed by Tourism Whitsundays CEO Craig Turner who said it was difficult to attract people with the right skills to regional Queensland.

"I'd like to see more detail, to see what jobs remain, because there may be some real impacts on the tourism industry depending on what they deem to be in and what they deem to be out.

"To us, in the Whitsundays, it's not considered that regional, but it's still very challenging to get people to come here.”

Mr Turner believed the path to residency offered by 457 visas was a contributing factor to ensuring workers were committed to the region they settled in.

Cafe or restaurant managers, cooks and chefs made up 16.2 per cent of Queensland's 457 visa approved applications in the 2015-16 financial year.

Topics:  457 visa coral sea resort hospitality tourism whitsundays

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Car show attracts strong turnout

Andrew and Wendy McRae with Whitsunday Cruisin Car Club president Chris Coyle standing next to a rare 1938 Graham.

A number of rare cars were on display at the Airlie foreshore today.

Community spirit puts show on track

Back Row: Lance Staniland, Margaret Perkins, Jane Welbourne, Wendy Camm, Stephanie Nuske, Cheryl West Front Row: Bev Holcombe, Jill Farinelli and Donna Rogers.

"IF there was no show it would feel like Debbie had won”.

Children embrace being under eight

Lacey and Mia Appleton loved jumping around on the jumping castle at Under 8s Day last Friday at St Catherine's Catholic College.

Children had a ball at St Cath's Under 8s Day

Local Partners

Surplus on the way for sugar industry

THE sugar deficit is no more - at least that's the opinion of sugar market analyser Tom McNeill.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Wonder Woman is a kick-arse superhero romp

WITH so much at stake, thank Zeus that Wonder Woman didn’t fall into the same trap as its DC Extended Universe predecessors.

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

Orange Is The New Black returns for another season.

Find out what's being added to our streaming services in June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!