Bill Shorten backs reform on foreign working visas

Tossing a piece of calcite in his hands, the opposition leader Bill Shorten turned up at Auckland Point Terminal to spruik the promise he made in Gladstone two weeks ago to invest $80 million in upgrades for the Gladstone Port Access Rd.

He also had a bit to say about reforming the visa system for foreign workers but he didn't provide any details on what he planned to do.

It would have been like de je vu had Mr Shorten not been joined by his wife Chloe, with both donning matching hi-vis, hard hats and safety glasses.

Mr Shorten spoke to a few workers --- who appeared to be positioned in convenient locations --- before walking and talking to the general manager of the Ports Corp, Leo Zussino.

Talking to a somewhat unenthused media pack, Mr Shorten said it was time to make "long overdue reform to our temporary work visa system".

"We've got to have a major overhaul of our visa system to make sure we prioritise Australian's getting jobs," he said.

Mr Shorten said Gladstone was not a community that asks for handouts but instead seeks opportunities which, if elected, his government would facilitate by investing in infrastructure.

He said investment in the Gladstone Port Access Rd would generate jobs and allow Gladstone's economy to diversify "beyond relying on the mining boom".

"We're determined to make sure there's a government in Canberra backing Gladstone," he said.

Labor's candidate for Flynn, Zac Beers, said he had a plan to ensure that people "who grow up here, have the opportunity to work here".

Topics:  bill shorten e10 federal election 2016 gladstone zac beers

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