Taskforce Cadena commences work

A NEW dedicated taskforce to tackle visa fraud and exploitation of foreign workers has commenced work.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator Michaelia Cash today released details of the multi-agency taskforce that was first called for by Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

Taskforce Cadena - led by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Fair Work Ombudsman - will work with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the Australian Tax Office, and various State and Territory agencies to ensure incidents of exploitation and visa fraud are appropriately investigated.

Mr Pitt welcomed the announcement.

"Better co-ordination and intelligence sharing between agencies and the various levels of Government will ensure the seasonal workers - who are so vital to our horticulture industry - are protected from unscrupulous labour hire operators," Mr Pitt said.

"The majority of businesses do the right thing. This issue is not confined to the horticulture sector or the Bundaberg region. That's why I'm pleased Taskforce Cadena will operate nationwide, across a range of industries.

"Organised criminal networks and unscrupulous labour hire contractors seeking to profit by exploiting both illegal and legitimate workers, as well as hardworking Australian taxpayers, should be under no illusion - Taskforce Cadena is targeting you!"     

Taskforce Cadena is part of the Coalition Government's new visa enforcement strategy, which will be mounted by the Australian Border Force on July 1.