NATION

Seasonal Workers In Australia, New Zealand, Able To Stay There For Now

Under the new visa measures announced last week, Pacific workers who are in Australia under the PLS and SWP, whose visa are due to expire will be able to remain in Australia for up to 12 months.
07 Apr 2020 09:20
Seasonal Workers In Australia, New Zealand, Able To Stay There For Now
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Kumar

The Ministry of Labour and Employment is closely monitoring the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) after the Australian government announced its new visa measures.

Currently, there are 341 Fijians in Australia and 381 in New Zealand under these two programmes.

Under the new visa measures announced last week, Pacific workers who are in Australia under the PLS and SWP, whose visa are due to expire will be able to remain in Australia for up to 12 months.

This will enable them to support themselves and continue to make critical contributions to Australia’s agriculture sector and food security.

Minister Praveen Bala said Fijians who are working in Australia and New Zealand have not been infected by the coronavirus.

“There are 14 workers who have been stood down and are being provided with accommodation, food and internet connections,” he said.

The group is in the hospitality industry. Eight out the 14 workers have been interviewed for redeployment in the Age-Care sector.

“We want to assure our Pacific neighbours that Australia stands with them during this crisis and we are doing all we can to support the Pacific workers in Australia,” a statement from the Australian government said.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has confirmed that the New Zealand government has extended visas to September 25.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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