18 Sep 2018

New Australian labour visa could kill benefits for Pacific

From , 5:03 am on 18 September 2018

Australia's government has delayed the announcement of a new agriculture visa, which Pacific leaders feared could have spelled the end of two special workers' visas.

Canberra has been signalling it will introduce a special visa to help fill labour gaps in agricultural sectors, which would likely be open to anyone or people from Asian countries.

But that's prompted concerns that two already-existing visas, which allow for Pacific Islanders to work in Australia, would be killed by such a scheme.

Australia's Assistant Minister for the Pacific, Anne Ruston, now says the visa is "still very much in development," and that Australia's commitment to labour mobility in the region remains a "number one priority."

Stephen Howes, from the Australian National University, toldJamie Tahana that any new visa would likely kill of benefits for the Pacific Islands.

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