WHETHER dining in the pub, sitting in the dentist’s chair or getting the car serviced, the residents of Charters Towers can thank people who have come to Australia on 457 visas.
In a situation repeated in regional towns across Australia, in the grand old Queensland country town of Charters Towers it is foreigners who fill the void where locals cannot or will not go.
Sri Lankan mechanic Reinzie De Silva, 28, arrived in the gold and cattle town of about 8000, 1400km northwest of Brisbane, to pick up the tools at the local Toyota dealership five months ago.
When he originally qualified from his four-year course he worked for a year in Sri Lanka before moving to the Middle East, where he worked another four years. But coming to Australia was always the goal.