Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey announced today congratulated Southern Highlands Province (SHP) Hon. William Powi as well as staff from the Labour Mobility Unit (LMU), based at Treasury after months of hard work put in to get access to Australia and New Zealand since they announced a restart of their labour schemes after COVID put them on hold in March 2020.
Six Southern Highlands Province workers are the first group to be recruited in 2021 and the first seasonal workers to leave since PNG borders closed in early 2020 due to COVID-19. The group left for Australia under the Seasonal Worker Programme.
Treasurer Ling-Stuckey noting on the small number in the recruitment, as a start and allows PNG to build confidence with Australian state governments. Adding that the PNG Labour Mobility Unit had been working closely with districts and provinces to ready workers for jobs in Australia and New Zealand.
One of the government’s agendas is to make PNG an agriculture centre to the Pacific. The skills our farmers learn overseas will help develop the quality and consistency of produce that domestic and foreign buyers expect.
The 6 selected workers had to go through aone-week quarantine process in PNG before they departed. Mr Ling-Stuckey stating mandatory testing were already in place prior to departure before it was introduced by Australia. The PNG Government has put in place the strictest COVID worker protocols of any Pacific island country.
The Treasurer on behalf of the Marape Government and Powi Provincial Government, wished the six workers the very best for their time in Australia. And he looks forward to further announcements and larger numbers of workers leaving PNG for placements in Australia and New Zealand in the coming months.
Photo Credit: PNG Labour Mobility Unit