In late 2017 Peter Dutton introduced a small, seemingly trivial change to the bureaucracy governing companies seeking to sponsor foreign workers, on what were formerly 457 visas. He proposed that, where previously sponsors contributed 1-2% of company payroll to train people to fill a skills gap, businesses would now simply give Home Affairs that money.

The plan was that over four years, money raised through this scheme would then make up $1.2 billion of the Department of Education’s $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund (SAF). It was known as the SAF levy.