Michael Bailey Deputy editor

Michael has been a business journalist for 12 years. He has extensive experience editing magazines covering funds management, commercial property and the travel industry. In 2011 he won a Citi Excellence in Financial Journalism award for a BRW cover story on economic indicators.

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Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes sprays Gillard over 457 visas

Published 14 March 2013 14:29, Updated 10 April 2013 07:32

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Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes sprays Gillard over 457 visas

Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes has taken umbrage at Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s criticism of the IT industry’s liberal use of 457 visas. Photo: Natalie Boog

Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has sprayed Prime Minister Julia Gillard for her criticism of the IT industry’s heavy use of 457 skilled migrant visas.

Cannon-Brookes took to Twitter to vent against Gillard, who told an ACTU summit today that one in 20 temporary overseas workers in Australia were doing IT work in NSW alone, and that the 457 program was being abused as “a substitute for spreading important economic opportunity to Australian working people’’.

The Atlassian founder, who employs some staff through the 457 program, was not impressed.

“Just outraged at the insanity of @JuliaGillard complaining about 457s in IT being bad for the economy,” Cannon-Brookes tweeted, also demanding to know Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s response.

“How can you say IT is the future of the country, then complain when we import skilled labour to help us,” the software entrepreneur continued.

“The largest IT project in the country – the NBN – is a Labor initiative. Do they not use 457s? Surely they’re the largest consumer.”