Labour mobility, the Australian government’s seasonal worker program (SWP), where Pacific Island countries including Papua New Guinea, are invited to work in the Australian horticultural sector (such as fruit picking) has been included in the Kavieng district 5 year development plan (KD5YDP).

The announcement was made at the launching and handover-takeover of a 3.5 tonne truck at the Lakurumau primary school in the Tikana LLG area last week by the Member for Kavieng and Shadow Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey.

“ The seasonal worker program seems to be a win-win-win-win policy for all four stakeholders, the PNG worker, the Australian employer and both the PNG and Australian governments, since Australian farmers have a readily available workforce when large vacancies exist during especially, peak periods, PNG workers can seek casual employment over a period of typically six months, the Australian and PNG governments, provide a sustainable solution targeting Australian farm employers acute manpower shortages” said Mr Ling-Stuckey

A world bank report in 2017 reviewing the SWP noted that ‘over a six-month employment stint, the average Pacific seasonal worker is remitting approximately A$2,200 while in Australia and transferring A$6,650 in savings home at the end of their stay.’ This is equivalent to $8,850.00 or about K20,000.00 for six months work.

“100 New Irelanders working for 6 months in Australia would remit and inject over K2 million into the New Ireland economy, contributing to the national and especially, provincial GDP and PNG’s all important non-resource sector and taking home invaluable foreign exchange. Imagine if we could implement labour mobility on a national scale” said the shadow treasurer.

However, he cautioned that the labour mobility scheme was not about how many PNG citizens could be employed in Australia but how many vacancies existed in their horticultural sector, where Pacific iIlanders and PNG citizens may be invited to apply.

“Of about 6,166 pacific island seasonal workers engaged in Australia in 2017, according to the World Bank, only about 129 PNG citizens were employed in the SWP scheme and this was disappointing. Together with the Member for Namatanai, we look forward to working closely with the Minister for Labour and his department, to identify issues restraining PNG citizens to participate in larger numbers in the SWP and said Kavieng and Namatanai district development authorities would be working closely to coordinate and facilitate a working plan going forward.” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.

Hon.Ian Ling-Stuckey,CMG.MP
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance

 15 August 2018



Seasonal workers summary