Overcoming Adverse Site Visits in China


A systematic response at the MRT to an adverse telephone investigation by DIAC in China allowed the MRT to find in favour of a Chinese cook.  A DIAC officer in China make a number of calls to a busy southern Chinese restaurant reported that the applicant was not well known and that the applicant did not know the names of other staff.

One such call was to the general manager to a mobile phone.  The general manager said this to the MRT:

(i) as mentioned in the Profile of Kejiazhuang Restaurant, it employs more than 300 casual, part-time and full-time employees. It is NOT possible for the General Manager to remember all the names of his past and present employees, their periods of employment and other details.
(ii) When DIAC officer in Guangzhou called, the General Manager was I fact driving a car, he had no time and opportunity to refer to any written Employee’s Records.
(iii) As stated in the General Manager’s Testimonial…he had to protect the interests of Kejiazhuang Restaurant and the staff. He could not, and would not, over the phone, disclose the personal work information about the staff to any person…whose identity could not be verified.

About his call with the DIAC officer the applicant said he spoke Hakka and Mandarin, not Cantonese which was the language the DIAC officer used, thus communication was hampered.  On not be able to name fellow staff, the applicant said that they used nicknames to each other not their full names.  Thus the MRT concluded:

25. The Tribunal has placed significant weight on the third party testimonials by the applicant’s team members and his General Manager which explain how the misunderstandings with the Departmental officer arose. The preponderance of evidence and the consistency of this evidence, leads the Tribunal to be satisfied that the applicant has performed all the duties listed in the ASCO descriptor, and the Tribunal finds, furthermore, that the applicant has the relevant personal attributes and employment background relevant to, and consistent with the activity to be performed in Australia.

Barbara Davidson