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Australia to attract more overseas workers via new EK (East Kimberley) DAMA

The Australian Federal Government has signed a new five-year Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) with the Shire of Wyndham–East Kimberley of northern Western Australia. It’s an addition to the recently established DAMAs in the region, including the Goldfields, the South West (Dardanup), and the Pilbara DAMAs.

Attracting workers to relocate to regional areas through the migration system is a priority for Morrison’s Government.

To help manage regional skill shortages, DAMAs allow employers in that region to access positions that may not typically be available for sponsorship. They also make eligibility concessions available on work experience, English language, and age requirements – allowing a wider range of possibilities for workers to get Permanent Residency if working in that region for a DAMA employer.

It is important to note that employers are still required to demonstrate a genuine attempt to recruit Australian citizens and permanent residents before accessing a DAMA labour agreement.

The new EK DAMA will help local businesses in the region recruit more skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers across more than 100 occupations from industries such as aquaculture, administration and support services, aviation, forestry, and tourism.

“The provisions afforded under the agreement, including permanent residency pathways, provide a significant incentive for overseas skilled workers to consider making the East Kimberley region their home,” Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs – Alex Hawke said.

The health care and social assistance industry is said to be the largest employment sector in East Kimberley, while its mining industry continues to generate the largest economic output.

“The East Kimberley DAMA includes a large number of occupations which are not available under the standard visa programs… There has been a push for economic diversification in the East Kimberley region with industries such as forestry, aquaculture, administration and support services, tourism and aviation gaining momentum,” Federal Member for Durack the Hon Melissa Price MP said.

East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EKCCI) will administer the process of accessing the East Kimberley DAMA which will be open to businesses operating in the Local Government Area of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley.

Local businesses can apply individually to access the DAMA from 1 April 2022.

For more information, visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/regional-migration/dama

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