THOUSANDS of low-paid foreign workers will be stopped from coming into Australia and taking local jobs under a crackdown on visas.
Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor revealed to the Herald Sun that growth in the 457 visa program was "out of step" with skills shortages and said the Gillard Government had evidence "rogue employers" were abusing it to get cheap labour.
The number of 457 visas has soared from 70,000 to 100,000 in the past two years.
Mr O'Connor said while some industries and regions had genuine shortages that needed temporary foreign workers, laws and regulations needed to be beefed up to stop rorts and close loopholes.
He predicted this could stop "thousands" of foreign workers taking jobs from locals.
"Rogue employers are deliberately employing people from overseas without giving a local a chance," he said.
It is the second time in three days the Gillard Government has moved to stem pain on a hot political issue after it reversed a $107 million funding cut to Victorian hospitals.