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What will these changes mean for our Pacific partners?

COVID-19 has brought into sharp focus the value of our Pacific labour mobility initiatives, which provide tangible benefits to both our Pacific family and Australian farmers and industries.

The reforms will provide enhanced opportunities for workers to develop skills, earn income and send money home to support their families and communities and the economic growth of their countries.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific labour mobility has provided much needed remittance flows to Pacific countries hit hard by border closures.

As we look forward to a life beyond the pandemic, with an altered labour market and growing demand for Pacific and Timorese workers, the new combined and streamlined arrangements will ensure that the programs are best positioned for future growth.

In September 2021, the government introduced new consultative mechanisms that will foster even deeper connections between Australia and its neighbours, and ensure that Pacific representatives are able to contribute to the strategic, policy and program settings that impact on the new streamlined Pacific labour initiative.