Regional businesses across a quarter of New South Wales, who are struggling to fill skilled positions, can now apply to be part of the newly launched Orana Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).
The DAMA, which covers towns from Mudgee and Dubbo all the way to Bourke, Walgett and Cobar, allows employers to bring in skilled workers, to help fill critical shortages.
Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the Orana agreement is one of seven DAMAs helping regional communities attract skilled migrants.
“The Government is committed to supporting the skills needs of regional Australia and has been working on tailored solutions to attract skilled migrants where Australian workers are not available to fill those jobs,” he explained.
“Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps and grow local economies.”
The DAMA allows employers to bring in skilled workers under the labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa that may provide a pathway to permanent residency, benefiting the Orana region long-term.
The Orana region will offer up to 500 places in the first year across priority areas, including in the agriculture sector.
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government and Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the announcement would boost businesses and communities across the electorate.
“Giving local businesses the opportunity to attract more skilled workers to the region will provide a boost to the economy and cater for the skills that we rely on here in rural New South Wales,” Mr Coulton said.
“We have seen the success of other DAMA arrangements across rural Australia, and our Government is committed to supporting regional communities to provide them with the needed skills when Australian workers are not available to fill those jobs.
“These agreements build on the work the Coalition Government is doing to decentralise the population away from capital cities, as well as benefiting regions looking for greater growth to secure their economic future.”
Regional Development Australia, Orana Director Megan Dixon said the Orana region is the largest and most diverse region in NSW, covering an area of 25 per cent of the state.
“It’s important that we facilitate a long-term workforce that will lead to the development of permanent roots in our region, providing economic growth for Orana,” Ms Dixon said.
Orana joins the Northern Territory, the Goldfields WA, Great South Coast Victoria, Adelaide City and Regional South Australia, and Far North Queensland, to enter into the five-year agreement with the Australian Government.
Article published 4th October 2019