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Australia to allow more Pacific Islands workers, patrol fisheries September 09,2017   |  Source: Reuters

Australia will extend its Pacific Islands migrant labour program and fly aerial surveillance missions to protect valuable Pacific fisheries, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the Pacific Island Leaders Forum. The meeting, held in Apia, Samoa, brought 17 Pacific Island nations plus Australia and New Zealand to the negotiating table.

The new agreement helps tiny low-income Pacific Island nations by giving them access to Australia’s large and developed economy, with migrant workers repatriating funds via overseas remittances. The per capita gross national incomes of 11 countries in the region range from $1,540 for the Solomon Islands to $13,496 for Palau, according to World Bank figures, while Australian workers earn an average yearly salary of more than $64,000.

Australia’s population of 24 million people is highly urbanised, leading to labor shortages in rural areas.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed an agreement on Friday to allow 2,000 Islanders to work in rural areas over the next three years, adding to an existing seasonal worker program which supplies agricultural labor. The micro-nations of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu will have first access to the scheme, which will allow workers to engage in non-farm work such as care of the elderly.

The World

 

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Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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