As demand for seasonal labour grows, Labour Commissioner highlights need for vigilance against fake recruiters

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples at Vernview farm, Victoria, Australia. Photo: APAL/David and Sue Finger

Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers Gilbert Massi and Michel Ulas picking apples. Photo: APAL

With the tenth anniversary of the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme coming up in April, Labour Commissioner Lionel Kaluat is using the opportunity to call on all RSE agents to “do the right thing” at a time when some clearly are not. Workers were being illegally charged a fee to go and work in Tasmania — for which we have no formal contracting available. And they were illegally being charged fees by the irregular recruiters on Santo. The practice is to be deplored when Vanuatu already has an 3,500 registered workers in New Zealand and is working to achieve a further 500 under the scheme which has given financial assistance to so many Vanuatu families. (Daily Post)

A Torba Province tourism operator is calling for a ban on imported food and a self-reliance on local produce. Fr Luke Dini says the abundance of local foods in the islands of the north and their isolation has helped people remain healthy. But now, he says, there is far too much consumption of rice, sweets, tinned fish and biscuits. There is still a bit of a problem over alcohol, he acknowledges, but Dini says “If you really want to live on a paradise of your own, then you should make do with what you have and try and live with nature.” (Daily Post)

The Minister of Health, Jerome Ludvaune, recommends the immediate handover of Pentecost’s Abwatuntora community support operating theatre to Government. The Abwatuntora operating theatre is the third in the country and funding from many organisations and individuals has helped get it going, acknowledges Minister Ludvaune. However, referrals to the bigger two operating theatres (Port Vila and Luganville) indicate the need for the facility to be fully operational, the Minister says. (Daily Post)