Visa scheme ‘broken’ as only 209 Pacific Islanders access labour scheme

The Pacific Labour Scheme brought just 203 Pacific island country nationals to work in Australia since starting on July 1, last year. Pacific islanders make up a large part of fruit growing communities and the local work force in Sunraysia.
The Pacific Labour Scheme brought just 203 Pacific island country nationals to work in Australia since starting on July 1, last year. Pacific islanders make up a large part of fruit growing communities and the local work force in Sunraysia.

A CENTRAL plank of the Federal Government’s push to boost Australia’s engagement with the Pacific, its new Pacific Labour Scheme, has had a disappointing first year, the Opposition says.

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Department has revealed that the Pacific Labour Scheme brought just 203 Pacific island country nationals to work in Australia since starting on July 1, last year.

Opposition International Development and the Pacific spokesman Pat Conroy said that was about one-tenth of the number of workers the government predicted would access the scheme in 2018-19, with the 2017-18 mid-year economic and fiscal outlook budgeting for and projecting 1935 visas being granted in 2018-19.

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