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Visa, pay, safety concerns
Allegation have arisen that the company contracted to broadcast the Cricket World Cup across Australia may be attempting to breach Australia’s tough migration regulations.
Singapore-based Broadcast Solutions is reportedly importing TV crew to broadcast the event and requesting these workers apply for the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) visa (subclass 400).
This visa is not intended for contract work such as the World Cup. Overseas tech crew for entertainment or TV obtain a 420 Visa, which has stringent provisions including scrutiny of employment contracts and a test for ‘net employment benefit’.
MEAA’s director of crew and sport, Mal Tulloch, says: “MEAA is not aware of Broadcast Solutions making a genuine attempt to engage local crew. This is a serious concern. Australian crew pride themselves on delivering quality broadcasts of some of the biggest sporting events in the world to Australian and international viewers. They should be given the first opportunity to work at a local event.”
MEAA has urged Broadcast Solutions to engage as many local crews as possible. If there is still a need for skilled foreign workers, those workers should be paid no less than the Australian Award rates.
Australian freelance crew have reacted angrily, some saying they were asked to supply a resume but then had no reply from Broadcast Solutions.
Crew are also concerned that the Australian Government has recently quietly flagged a review of the 420 visa, which has been successfully used for over 20 years.
“This is the line in sand”, says Mal Tulloch from MEAA.
“There’s some horror stories out there. Crew poorly treated, sleeping ten to a room, not being paid on invoice, offshore firms folding up. Do we want shonky business practices tolerated?”
Crew on Television Broadcasting Freelancers Facebook are calling for protests around the World Cup.
The World Cup will be played across Australia and New Zealand in February and March 2015.
A petition has been set up by concerned MEAA members:: http://meaa.io/1zsRnS
(Images: Protest graphics from Television Broadcasting Freelancers Facebook)
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