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  • File image: One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson (AAP )
The One Nation senator said international students are taking low-paid jobs away from unemployed Australians.
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9 Apr 2018 - 3:25 PM  UPDATED 10 Apr 2018 - 4:33 PM

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson is advocating for stripping international students of work rights in Australia.

She said the work rights of international students were making it difficult for Australians to get jobs.  

“These people are supposed to be self-supporting when they come into Australia. But they are given the opportunity to do twenty hours work a week and they can actually have unlimited work when they're not studying. That is wrong because that is impacting the other Australians getting jobs,” Senator Hanson told Sky News.

“Come out here, do your studies. But work visas- no. They should be able to support themselves."

"They [international students] are bad for unemployed young people and others who find their wages and conditions depressed by hundreds of thousands of international students with automatic rights to work in Australia."

In October last year, Senator Hanson raised the issue as a "matter of urgency" of international students taking up jobs that Australian people could do. 

“They [international students] are bad for unemployed young people and others who find their wages and conditions depressed by hundreds of thousands of international students with automatic rights to work in Australia,” she told the Senate on October 19, 2017.

The president of the Council of International Students Australia, Bijay Sapkota, said Senator Hanson's proposal would have a detrimental effect on Australia's international education industry. 

“A lot of industries in Australia rely on international students, tourism for one. Every year, parents of many students visit Australia. The hospitality industry is also heavily reliant on students," he said.

"So, it's not just the $27 billion international education industry [that will suffer]. I see a significant lack of common sense on the part of Ms Hanson while projecting international students as some sort of burden."

He further argued in favour of allowing students to work more hours in jobs relevant to their study.

“For students to be job ready, they need work experience. But because students have a restriction of 20-hours a week work, not many employers are willing to hire them. That’s why you see them driving taxis despite having a university degree.

“Our suggestion is, allow students to work more if they have a job in a relevant field and lower their study burden to let them finish their remaining subjects in the subsequent semesters,” Mr Sapkota told SBS Punjabi.

"A lot of industries in Australia rely on international students, tourism for one. Every year, parents of many students visit Australia, hospitality industry also heavily reliant on students. So, it's not just the $27 billion international education industry. I see a significant lack of common sense on part of Ms Hanson while projecting international students as some sort of burden."

He blamed the Australian education system for not promoting entrepreneurship among students.

“No one would want to go back to India or Nepal to do a job after having spent nearly 120,000 on a degree here because back home the salaries are meager. The education here promotes job seeking rather than making students employable all over the world or starting something of their own and create employment for others.”

Earlier this year, Senator Hanson introduced a Bill in the Senate to amend the Citizenship law to make migrants wait for eight years before they become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. 

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