ABC ‘Fact Check’ needs a reality check

by 26 August 2015

13 August 2015 Andrew Robb Minister for Trade and Investment

A ‘verdict’ by ABC’s ‘Fact Check’ that our landmark China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) allows Chinese companies to bring in workers for major projects without offering the jobs to Australian workers first is dead wrong.

These are the real facts:

Investment Facilitation Arrangements (IFA) negotiated in parallel to ChAFTA will not reduce existing migration safeguards or permit overseas workers to work in Australia in preference to [...]

Article – Developing the North: Can 457 visas and DAMAs solve the Northern Territory’s labour shortage?

by 12 August 2015

9 July 2015 Joanna Crothers ABC News

Amid excitement about historic plans for Developing the North, Northern Territory businesses are struggling to see how they will be able to employ sufficient interstate and foreign workers.

Attracting skilled labour has long been an obstacle to economic development in northern Australia and in recent years this has been exacerbated by a resources boom.

Businesses have complained that the high cost of living has meant they could not [...]

Article – New visa measures generate international buzz

by 21 July 2015

24 June 2015 Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

Announcements made last week as part of the historic China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, recent significant immigration policy reforms and initiatives revealed in the Northern Australia White Paper are already generating positive feedback in international target markets.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said amendments to the Work and Holiday visa programme and enhanced Visitor visa products will further [...]

Article – Expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme

by 21 July 2015

25 June 2015 Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Australian Government is introducing a number of measures to reduce barriers to employment and address workforce skills shortages for Australia’s north.

The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia proposes new policies to unlock the great potential of Australia’s north.

The Australian Government will streamline and expand the Seasonal Worker Programme to better meet businesses’ labour needs.

The Seasonal Worker Programme for Pacific workers helps Australian employers access [...]

Article – Northern Australia plan: China backs ‘economic powerhouse’

by 15 July 2015

18 June 2015 Mark Ludlow Australian Financial Review

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has pledged $1.2 billion in new money for roads and dams and relaxed visa requirements for backpackers and tourists as part of a package announced Thursday  in a bid to unlock the “economic powerhouse” in the north.

China has backed the deal saying its trade deal with Australia will facilitate Chinese investment in farms and infrastructure in the region which is attempting to become part of Asia’s food bowl.


Article – After the mining boom: Blueprint to triple the Pilbara’s population by 2050

by 7 May 2015

12 April 2015 Peter Law Perth Now

THE population of WA’s Pilbara region could triple to 200,000 by 2050 under a blueprint for its future beyond the mining boom.

Renewable energy, agriculture and eco-tourism are among emerging industries identified as crucial to ending the region’s dependence on resources.

The Pilbara Development Commission’s Regional Investment Blueprint builds on the State Government’s plan to transform Karratha and Port Hedland into cities of 50,000 people each by 2035.


Article – Could migrants fill skill shortages in the bush?

by 8 January 2015

3 December 2014 Tara Miko Fraser Coast Chronicle

THE reluctance of school leavers to take on a career in agriculture is contributing to the nation’s skills shortage in the sector.

While recent figures show there has been an increased uptake of people entering the agricultural industry, there remains a shortage that stretches into the thousands.

But Auslink Regional Migration head and registered migration agent Mick Keegan believes that shortage can be met via overseas workers [...]

Article – New deal welcomes skilled workers to NT

by 25 November 2014

18 November 2014 John Pyrros Neos Kosmos

The Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Adam Giles has announced a new in-principal deal signed by the Territory government and the governing Council of Kalymnos, which will help Greek skilled workers access employment in Australia’s top end.

The pilot agreement was negotiated in principal after two days of meetings with the council, by Territory representatives.

Mr Giles told Neos Kosmos the arrangement was a push toward greater levels of [...]

Article – How’s Northern Australia developing?

by 21 October 2014

Business Acumen Magazine

The Australian Parliament’s Northern Australia Committee has tabled its final report on the development of Northern Australia, titled Pivot North. The report spells out loud and clear how important the region is – or at least should become – to the long-term economic growth of Australia.

THERE are 42 clear recommendations in the Pivot North report – addressing both opportunities and impediments for the development of Northern Australia. It is a bold vision [...]

Article – Let’s get serious about Northern Development: it’s a no-brainer

by 20 October 2014

23 September 2014 Nyungga Black

Last week I delivered a major speech to the Future of Tropical Economies Conference in Cairns in which I talked about the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of Northern Australia and how we can harness human capital to develop the north.

This is a very important topic because the Federal Government will soon release a White Paper setting out its Government’s vision and policy for the future of Northern [...]