Govt decision on fees hurting migrant family

Dennis and Jeanette Owen moved to Australia with a 457 visa after selling everything they had in Wales. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d406349
Dennis and Jeanette Owen moved to Australia with a 457 visa after selling everything they had in Wales. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d406349

The Welsh family spent their savings to move to Ocean Reef last month after Mr Owen was employed by Carter Roofing and Slating.

The Government’s decision to charge 457 parents $4000 per child to attend public schools from 2014 could see the Owens packing up before they have even unpacked.

‘We were living OK in Wales, but were looking for a better future for our children,’ he said. ‘We came, we got a house, a job and started living the dream.

‘But now I’ve been told I need to find $20,000 by January, which I don’t have.’

Mr Owen said they knew their $15,000 move to Australia would put financial strain on the family but were willing to work their way up again.

Treasurer Troy Buswell said the 8600 children of workers on 457 visas ” up from 290 in 2005 ” had put big pressure on the education system.