Australia Adds To Pacific Labor Mobility

Turnbull: plan would help the development of both Pacific Island states and regional Australian towns struggling to recruit workers

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, September 08, 2017) – Up to 2,000 Pacific Islanders will be able to work in rural areas of Australia to cover shortages in low and semi-skilled jobs.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed the deal at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa today.

The broadcaster, SBS, reported the announcement expands the current farming-based seasonal worker scheme to include industries like tourism and aged care.

Mr Turnbull said the plan would help the development of both Pacific Island states and regional Australian towns struggling to recruit workers.

Australia has also promised to fund new aerial surveillance missions over the Pacific to detect and disrupt illegal fishing.

Ahead of the Forum, Mr Turnbull's government signalled a "step up" in its engagement in the region.

Radio New Zealand International
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Comments

This new step sounds like a positive one, to open up new job opportunities for Pacific islanders in Australia. But what about the poor Asian/Middle Eastern refugees condemned to scandalous living conditions on Manus and Nauru? They could also do such "rural" work, and deserve help after many years of so-called "processing" in bad situations. Australia's attempts to get the U.S. to take them makes little sense and is furthermore unlikely to happen under the current Trump administration. Sincerely, David Chappell

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