Management of LNG revenue key to future
Murray Groves – anthropologist and scholar

At last! Seasonal workers head to Australia

THE FIRST GROUP of Papua New Guineans flew to Australia today to participate in the Pacific Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme. The ten workers will be based in Robinvale, Victoria, for four months where they will be pruning almonds.

Australian High Commissioner, Ian Kemish AM, who personally congratulated the workers during their pre-departure training, said he was extremely pleased that PNG was now actively participating in the pilot scheme.

“You will all be ambassadors for PNG,” he told the workers. “It will be important to be good citizens of Robinvale where you will be placed.  Fortunately, Papua New Guineans have a strong sense of community, and I expect that this will come naturally to you.”

Mr Kemish said the group of ten should be very proud to be the first participants selected from thousands of other applicants. He encouraged them to work hard and to maximise the economic benefits that the scheme provides.

He said, “Use what you learn, and what you earn in Australia, to create new opportunities for yourselves, your families and your communities. If your deployment is a success, a door may open for other Papua New Guineans to participate.”

The pilot scheme is intended to stimulate economic development by providing employment opportunities, remittances, and options for up-skilling to workers from participating countries PNG, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tonga. It is due to expire in mid-2012. 

The Australian government is currently considering whether to make the scheme a permanent program. 

Source: Australian High Commission, Port Moresby


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