JUNE 28, 2016: CONGRATULATIONS must go to Border Force officials on the successful apprehension of dodgy labour hire contractors in Bowen, some who were sourcing illegal workers and sending sizeable sums of money offshore.
Some of the ringleaders of a labour hire racket were seized last week; it appears there were four dodgy contractors and two illegal workers apprehended and they are now in immigration detention.
They were sourcing illegal labour and sending big amounts of money offshore.
This is great news for local growers and I will continue to work closely with groups such as Bowen Gumlu Growers Association so that we can see more raids executed so we can rid the industry of those who seek to exploit vulnerable people.
I had been lobbying for immigration authorities to investigate what was going on in Bowen, following a number of reports from people in the district about illegal practices, and I am happy to see a successful outcome.
I was in Bowen when the four men and two women from various countries were apprehended and I spoke to Border Force officials on the night that interviews were conducted.
The seizure of illegal contractors and workers should send a clear message to other wrongdoers.
The same fate awaits those who seek to bring illegal immigrants to our shores, as those who want to bring in workers without valid visas who are underpaid and exploited in our horticultural sector.
If you do the wrong thing you will be caught and you will be charged.
We protect our borders and we protect our Australian workers, and we will not stand for anyone, Australian citizen or otherwise, profiting from the exploitation of vulnerable people.