18 Apr 2016

Fiji wants expansion in Aust seasonal programme

9:02 am on 18 April 2016

Fiji will this week ask for further expansion of Australia's seasonal worker programme and follow up on claims of worker exploitation.

The Employment Minister Semi Koroilavesau is heading a delegation to Australia, visiting Fijian workers and meeting with local government officials and employers.

Mr Koroilavesau said the emphasis would be on securing more work for up to 500 people from rural and isolated parts of Fiji.

There are currently between 150 and 180 Fijians involved in Australia's programme

The minister said he would also look into reports of exploitation with some workers claiming they were paid less than eight US dollars a week.

"The understanding between the Fijian government and the Australian government, while our workers are in Australia, they will handle everything that is related to our workers in Australia. We have heard about the reports floating around and we have asked for an update. We have not received an update but I presume that we will discuss these issues."

Fiji government whip Semi Koroilavesau

Fiji's Employment Minister Semi Koroilavesau Photo: RNZI / Sally Round