Lockyer Valley farmers on notice

IMMIGRATION RAID: 12 men were detained in Gatton after it was revealed they were working locally without sufficient visas.
IMMIGRATION RAID: 12 men were detained in Gatton after it was revealed they were working locally without sufficient visas.

FARMERS and labour contractors in the Lockyer Valley have been placed on notice after a roadside raid near Gatton netted 12 men identified as visa over stayers.

In the joint Queensland Police and Department of Immigration raid 12 men were detained, 11 of which were identified as visa over stayers and one man as an illegal worker.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said nine of the men had been detained in Brisbane pending their removal to their home countries including India and Indonesia.

"The department's compliance operations serve as a warning to the community that they can face serious consequences for remaining in Australia without a valid visa or for employing illegal workers," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the department would be issuing illegal worker warning notices to relevant work contractors or farm owners in Gatton.

"It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that non-Australian workers they hire hold a visa with valid work rights."

Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation of having illegal workers face fines of up to $13,200 and two years imprisonment.

Companies face fines of up to $66,000 for each illegal worker.

People with information about illegal workers or visa over stayers are encouraged to call the immigration dob-in line on 1800 009 623.



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