Milestone Migration

Businesses in WA’s Pilbara to recruit overseas workers this year via new DAMA

Businesses in WA’s Pilbara to recruit overseas workers this year via new DAMA

Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke has just signed a new five-year Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to help fill critical labour shortages in Pilbara. This is an agreement between the Commonwealth and Regional Development Australia (RDA) Pilbara, in partnership with the Town of Port Hedland and the City of Karratha.

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 establishment of the Pilbara DAMA will play a significant part in building the region, drawing highly skilled workers to reside locally and support diversification of the local economy by providing opportunities for critical support services for the region,” Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs – Alex Hawke said.

Attracting workers to relocate to regional areas through the migration system is a priority for Morrison’s Government. The City of Karratha also supports domestic recruitment campaigns like the ‘Karratha is Calling’ campaign to entice more workers to relocate there. When the domestic labour market is unable to meet demand, the City looks into the international labour market.

A joint funding model will be arranged to help local businesses with the cost of applications to access the Pilbara DAMA.

RDA Pilbara will enable employers in the City of Karratha and the Town of Port Hedland access to the new DAMA from 9 May 2022.

A list of occupations, qualification, experience, and other concessions proposed to form the basis of the Pilbara DAMA is located here.

For more information, visit

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