Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd

Crackdown on rorting of 457 visas passed by parliament

UPDATE: New laws to crackdown on the alleged rorting of the 457 visa system were put back on the agenda, and passed, in parliament on Thursday morning.

It came after the bill apparently dropped off the parliamentary notice paper overnight, but was then put back on the agenda by new Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

While business lobby groups were pushing for the bill to be dropped, the bill was put back on the notice paper.

A series of divisions and debate over the new laws took about an hour of the House's time on Wednesday, following weeks of tense debate and negotiations behind the scenes.

This was despite each of the divisions on Thursday being returned in the government's favour, with the help of the crossbench.

Some 16 government amendments to the bill were completed on Wednesday night, primarily to appease key independents including Tony Windsor, who said he was still undecided earlier that day.

It was expected the bill would be passed through the Senate during the upper house's final sitting day on Friday.

Australian Industry Group welcomes return of Rudd

KEVIN Rudd's ascension to the leadership has already been welcomed by the Australian Industry Group.

AiG chief executive Innes Willox said the constant leadership speculation had been weighing on the community and the economy.

"We have had a long and positive working relationship with Mr Rudd and business will be deeply interested in his policy approaches ahead of the election," Mr Willox said in a statement.

AiG this week released a one-year report which was highly critical of the carbon tax.

"Any government faces some significant challenges and industry is looking for new directions on a number of fronts particularly around workplace relations, carbon, immigration, skills, infrastructure and Research and Development," he said.

"A big priority for any government should be to boost our productivity and reduce costs and regulation for business."

Mr Willox thanked Julia Gillard for the "enormous contribution" she made during her political career.

"As always, Ai Group deals with policy not politics and as we approach the election we will continue to advocate policies that support business and the economy," he said.

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