scrapped - the visas that allowed employers to bring in workers from overseas to fill positions in a variety of occupations that Downunderites could not or would not fill.
Of course Downunderites could have filled most of the positions. There was work they simply didn't want to do and places they didn't want to go. Some people would rather be unemployed in the city than employed in a rural area. Some people think that jobs like cleaning the hospital or shopping centre is beneath them.
Our parents were teachers. One condition of their employment was that the Education Department had the right to send them anywhere in the state at a moment's notice. We children simply had to follow them whether we liked it or not.
In reality of course most teachers were moved at the end of the school year. The long summer holidays saw the removal companies around the state hard at work moving teachers from one place to another. (Yes, it was hard work. Teachers tend to have books. Books are heavy. That was in addition to all the other household goods and chattels.)
You could "apply" for various schools. This was part of the "promotion" process as much as anything else. You had to know where the vacancies were likely to be and what sort of competition you were up against - and much more.
I can remember the Senior Cat sitting at the kitchen table (no office in those days) discussing each option with my mother. In the end he wasn't actually given a choice. He was considered to be a "trouble shooter". He was sent to places to "sort things out" and set the school up or back on an even keel so that someone else could move in and go on running it while he went on to the next set of problems.
Now he would probably be given more help to do such things and might even be given a pay increase for the added responsibility. Then he just accepted that this was what was required of him. One of the places he was sent to, the one where my mother went back teaching full time in the little two teacher school, had no running water and no electricity. The house was so badly built that Middle Cat and I had to sleep on mattresses on the floor. You couldn't get beds into that bedroom. My parents slept head to toe in two single beds in a room where you had to sit on the bed in order to open the wardrobe door. My parents didn't like it but they accepted it. Teachers wouldn't put up with that now.
So I wonder whether they will be able to fill the vacancies left by scrapping the 457 visas. Will they find people who are prepared to do the sort of thing my parents, and many more like them, did? Will they find a "local lad" to do the work the Sikh trolley collector is doing in the local shopping centre? I was talking to him the other day. He unhitched a trolley for me. He's studying to become an accountant. Will he work here? He probably won't get the chance now.