Sydney/7 March 2019
I Met Federal Minister for Immigration, The Hon David Coleman MP at Hilton Hotel, Sydney this evening, along with other community reps.
I was pleased to know that the federal government listened to the concerns and feedback and is introducing new measures to help religious institutions ie temples, access the skills and fill manpower (priests) shortage.
I too was asked to provide feedback in this matter. I consulted various temples, especially Pt Jatin Bhatt from Sri Mandir, Auburn and Mr Jagdish Chawla from Shiva temple, Minto, to have a full understanding of the issues and submitted a report to the ministry of Home Affairs.
Apart from relaxing the religious labor agreement settings in regards to previously introduced “minister of religion” visa sponsorship, religious institutions will also be allowed to sponsor overseas religious workers as “religious assistants” to overcome the shortage of appropriately trained religious workers in Australia.
Minister said “these new measures will help address Australia’s religious-worker skill shortage”.
He also said “religious freedom is a fundamental tenet of our nation and religious institutions should be supported in their important work”.
These changes are good and will ease the difficulties, which our temples and other religious institutions face in filling the positions of religious workers in their institutions. These changes will be implemented from Monday, 11 March 2019.
Dr Yadu Singh