200 Fijian PALM workers to take family members to Australia under Family Accompaniment pilot program

200 Fijian PALM workers to take family members to Australia under Family Accompaniment pilot program

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 24/05/2024
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Agni Deo Singh.

Good news for 200 long-term Pacific Australian Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme Fijian workers as they will have the opportunity to take their families, including their spouses and children, to Australia after the Australian government nominated Fiji to participate in the Family Accompaniment pilot program this year.

This pilot program will open this month.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Agni Deo Singh emphasized that the pilot program aims to address the social impacts of long periods of family separation and build a deeper connection with the host labour-sending countries.

He says the Permanent Secretary for Employment, Maritino Nemani has been taking the lead role in objectively collaborating and negotiating in good faith with the Australian government under the Vuvale Partnership agreement. Singh says the strategies and initiatives discussed will strengthen and sustain the PALM program for the social and economic benefit of both Australia and Fiji.

The Ministry says a Country Liaison Officer will be based in New Zealand and is mandated to assist Fijian workers with their work rights and interests and any other employment matters in ensuring that their rights and well-being are protected at all times.

They say this is the result of the ministerial visit to New Zealand early this month, where the New Zealand government will fund the new Country Liaison Officer.

The Ministry says the Liaison Officer will be based at the Fiji High Commission Office in Wellington.

The Minister also acknowledged and expressed his sincere gratitude to both the New Zealand and Australian Governments for their commitment and dedication to strengthening bilateral ties with Fiji through the Duavata and Vuvale partnerships, respectively, for a win-win outcome for the three nations in areas of labour mobility.

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