Australia and Papua New Guinea today signed the second bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the new Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
The PALM scheme brings together the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers Programme under a single program that helps to strengthen worker protection and build capacity to address workforce shortages in Australia, particularly in agriculture and across regional areas.
Minister Payne said that labour mobility between Papua New Guinea and Australia provides important benefits to both countries and strengthens our extensive people-to-people connections.
“Australia recognises the outstanding contributions by Papua New Guinea workers under the labour mobility schemes in recent times, keeping food on shelves and contributing to the cultural and economic vibrancy of our regional and rural communities”, said Minister Payne.
A key objective of the PALM scheme is to contribute to economic development in Papua New Guinea, by providing remittances, opportunities to gain knowledge and work experience in Australia and supporting skills transfer.
Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer, the Hon Ian Ling-Stuckey has long been an advocate for labour mobility given the positive impacts for Papua New Guinea and its people.
“Now that borders have reopened, we are looking forward to seeing more opportunities for workers from Papua New Guinea to enter Australia under the scheme over the coming years,” said Treasurer Ling-Stuckey.
Labour mobility is just one element of Australia and Papua New Guinea’s Comprehensive and Strategic Economic Partnership (CSEP), which underpins Australia’s long-standing relationship with our closest and valued neighbour.