Senate debates

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Pacific Labour Mobility

2:47 pm

Photo of Zed SeseljaZed Seselja (ACT, Liberal Party, Minister for International Development and the Pacific) Share this | Hansard source

I can. Last week I, along with my fellow ministers Littleproud and Payne, announced a public consultation process to streamline our Pacific labour mobility initiative. Our commitment is to ensure that Pacific labour mobility is sustainable and efficient into the future and to position Pacific labour mobility for significant future growth. Through this redesign, we'll make it even easier to recruit Pacific workers, to meet current and future workforce shortages, while also continuing to ensure the integrity of the programs and the welfare of workers. Worker welfare is absolutely paramount, and I can't stress this enough. Welfare and program integrity remain at the heart of our enhanced labour programs. But we also know that Pacific labour alone cannot fill the huge seasonal workforce shortages that our farmers and rural industries will experience beyond the pandemic. As we consider how to meet future workforce needs, we will ensure any new arrangements build on and complement the gold standard set by our Pacific labour mobility program.


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