Tasmania is interested in seasonal workers from Vanuatu and the southern Australian island state seems poised to take advantage of this. A delegation has called on Vanuatu’s High Commissioner in Australia, Kalfao Kaloris, to try to make this happen. However, the issue of a proposed lower ‘backpacker tax’ rate designed to encourage seasonal workers to come to Australia is yet to be resolved in Australia’s Parliament. (VBTC)
The former GM of the VNPF has had a claim for Vt 36 million refused by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court after already receiving a payment of Vt 6 million on termination. She claimed her termination payment breached the terms of her contract. The Chief Justice did not agree and so her claim was Read the rest of this entry »
What happens in communities when migrants leave? Regardless of the benefits provided by remittance income and the skills learnt in new labour markets, there are concerns about what occurs back home. These questions are also relevant for the seasonal workers themselves who move back and forth between countries, coming and going from their communities and culture. One primary factor is how seasonal work can be gendered. For example, in 2013-14 and 2014-15, approximately 87 per cent of participants in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program were male, which can have implications for families and local communities.
At the recent State of the Pacific 2016 conference hosted by the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program at The Australian National University, Peter Bumseng spoke about his experience in the New Zealand Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. Peter was one of the original 45 people from Vanuatu who were sponsored in a pilot program by the World Bank to work in New Zealand in 2007. He has participated in the program every year since, and five years ago he and his wife established the Strengthening Seasonal Worker Family Program in Vanuatu.
In his speech to the conference and an interview afterwards, Peter explained how his community had responded to people leaving and returning as seasonal workers: Read the rest of this entry »
As negotiations for PACER Plus, the proposed regional free trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries draw to a close, we can now see what it contains—and more importantly, what it means for Vanuatu producers. Read the rest of this entry »