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Vanuatu to initially send 50 workers

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, March 29, 2009) – Commissioner of Labour Lionel Kaluat and Australian High Commissioner Pablo Kang have jointly announced the names of the two companies granted licenses as agents for Australia’s temporary pilot workers scheme.

The companies are H& D (Pacific) Consultancy Group Ltd, owned by Aaron Hanghangkon and Pasifika Resources of former Environment Unit Director, Earnest Bani.

The announcement was made in the presence of Internal Affairs director general, George Bogiri, director general of trade, Marakon Alilee and director for forestry, Livo Mele.

The Labour boss said the selection was done in a transparent manner under the powers vested on him by law.

He warned that any persons collecting names, passports, or any money from people—acting as agents of the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme are breaking the law.

And he cautioned those interested in the Australian labour scheme not to surrender any documents to them unless it is from the two companies announced or the farmers from Australia who by law, may also recruit directly on the ground.

High Commissioner Kang also reminded those who will be participating to be good ambassadors of Vanuatu overseas saying the telltale experiences of the New Zealand RSE program should not be repeated, especially as this is still a pilot scheme.

In addition Kaluat said out of the Pacific Island countries taking part, Vanuatu still wins recognition in many respects, as the scheme is free of any political interferences. Australia’s Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme will run for three years with Kiribati, PNG and Tonga and over these three-year period Vanuatu can send up to 800 workers.

The Labour head said during the first intake for the first seven months, Vanuatu will send only 50 people to begin with as agreed to with the Australian government.

The Australian Company that will begin hiring workers from Vanuatu is Summit Personal Labour Hire situated in the rural area of Griffiths in the state of New South Wales.

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