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Visa changes shake up NT

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Darwin businessman Jason Hanna, has hit out at the Federal Government's changes to the 457 Visa Scheme, which was scrapped on Tuesday and replaced with a revised scheme.

Mr Hanna, employs several overseas workers in his restaurants to fill specialised positions like chefs and high level cooks.

He says he has been forced to utilise the 457 scheme in the past, after failing to attract Australians in key roles.

The Federal Government made the changes to tighten up the security element of the old scheme and increase the number of apprenticeships.

The new scheme also requires visa applicants to have a higher level of English.

Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Greg Bicknell, says the visas have been a great driver of population growth in the past, with the NT Government the biggest employer of workers under the 457 scheme.

But some business owners in the construction field have welcomed the scrapping of the old scheme, saying it was difficult to compete with companies employing cheaper workers from overseas.

As of Wednesday morning, the Territory Government was yet to explain the impact the changes would likely have on the Territory.