WAMMCO work visas approved

The West Australian

WAMMCO International has welcomed the decision of a recent hearing of the Migration Review Tribunal in Perth to approve residency applications by 21 Chinese workers at the Katanning processing plant on completion of their 457 visa requirements.

The workers were included in an intake of 34 recruited by WAMMCO in China in 2006, who completed the mandatory four-year terms of their 457 visas in 2010. Thirteen of the workers were approved for residency at that point, but changes in procedure delayed approvals for the remaining 21 workers.

WAMMCO Katanning manager Tony Bessell said notice of the latest approvals remained subject to a 28-day appeal process but the company was confident the workers and their families would be granted permission to stay in Australia.

He said while the residency applications were for the 21 visa holders, more than 51 family members were also involved, many of them now also working for WAMMCO.

"The news is a relief to the workers and their families who are keen to stay in Katanning and to continue working with us, and it is a relief for WAMMCO whose ongoing operations depend on them," he said.

Taixin Wang, whose residency application was one of the 13 by Chinese workers originally approved three years ago, predicted more of his countrymen would now buy homes and settle in Katanning.

"We enjoy working at WAMMCO and we prefer the town and country community to city life," he said.

Mr Wang and wife Luechun came to WA in 2007 and both work in the boning room at WAMMCO's Katanning plant.

They have an 11-year-old son, Ying, a 16-year-old daughter, Xiang, and purchased a home in Rogers Avenue two years ago.

"We have been refurbishing the house ourselves and find the lifestyle in Australia offers greater opportunities than our former home in Fujiang," Mr Wang said.

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