RADIO New Zealand International (RNZI) announced on 8 September 2017 that the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had signed a deal that day at the Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa that would allow up to, 2000 Pacific Islanders to work in rural areas of Australia to cover shortages in low and semi-skilled jobs.
Mr Turnbull was reported to have said the plan would help the development of both Pacific Island states and regional Australian towns struggling to recruit workers.
RNZI, quoting Samoa’s SBS, said “Mr Turnbull’s announcement expands the current farming-based seasonal worker scheme to include industries like tourism and aged care.”
RNZI also said in the same news bulletin, “Australia has also promised to fund new aerial surveillance missions over the Pacific to detect and disrupt illegal fishing.”
Ahead of the Forum, Mr Turnbull’s government had signalled a “step up” in its engagement in the region.