Member for Barker Tony Pasin welcomed the announcement of the next stage of reforms to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, providing a single, streamlined program that will benefit employers, workers, and our Pacific family.
Mr Pasin said the two existing PALM initiatives – the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) – will be consolidated and operated under a single, improved PALM scheme, commencing in April 2022 and be managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“The single PALM scheme delivers on industry calls for a more streamlined and efficient approach to employing Pacific workers.” Mr Pasin said.
“It will help employers in Barker more easily engage the right workers where and when they need them, while protecting the welfare of workers and delivering strong economic benefits for Pacific workers, their families and countries.” Mr Pasin said.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific and Timorese workers have been essential to many regional businesses, with 747 Pacific workers currently filling critical workforce gaps in Barker.” Mr Pasin said.
“The PALM scheme will remain uncapped, and demand driven. It will be the primary means of filling unskilled to semi-skilled workforce shortages in rural and regional Australia, with more than 55,000 Pacific and Timorese workers approved and ready to take up jobs in agriculture, meat processing, the care sectors, hospitality and tourism, and other sectors.” Mr Pasin said.
“The government will focus closely on worker welfare and protections as the PALM scheme grows, to guarantee an active compliance and assurance program.” Mr Pasin said.
The improved PALM scheme will feature new program and visa settings, while providing strong worker protections and delivering streamlined processes and administrative efficiencies, specifically:
Further information about these reforms and other PALM scheme details can be found in the attached Fact Sheet or by visiting palmscheme.gov.au.