Saturday, January 28, 2006

Pacific workers plan

We need to have a dream in life as the saying if I dream alone its only a dream if we dream to gather then it become a reality. But does it?

Many Pacific Islanders really want the opportunity for short-term work in the Australian fruit industry. The plan has been discussed over recent years, even twenty years. Leaders from the Pacific islands Nations meets in the Pacific Forums which Australia and NZ are members and the subject is raised again and again. The dream of seasonal work in the fruit industries in Australia (such as Robinvale, Mildura, Shepparton, Griffith) is also the dream of the farmers who can't get enough workers! The farmers know that Fijians and Tongans and other Islanders work very well and are reliable.

The PM John Howard says no the plan, so does the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. Yet groups are allowed to be guest workers from Asia and also youth from Europe.

The excuse given by Howard is that Islanders should develop their own countries first and perhaps there is as fear that too many will come and not return to the islanders where they are needed.

The story is still on the agenda though.

From ABC News

January 27, 2006. 12:00pm (AEDT)

Opposition backs Pacific workers plan

The Federal Opposition says it agrees that Australia will have to open its doors to unskilled migrants from Pacific countries, but only on a short term basis.

A report commissioned by the Federal Government has found that smaller Pacific island nations urgently need their people to move abroad in search of work to save them from economic ruin.

Opposition spokesman on Pacific Island affairs, Bob Sercombe, says the Federal Government has been putting its head in the sand over the issue.

"The question really here is that you can I think address the development needs of Pacific countries by allowing short term entry of Pacific Island workers to come and earn income in Australia, maybe learn additional skills as part of the training package associated with their work and then they return home," he said.


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