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Great Southern local governments consider Designated Area Migration Agreement to address skills shortage

The Great Southern could become a destination for more overseas workers with the region’s local governments considering whether to join forces to apply for a Designated Area Migration Agreement.

At the Great Southern Country Zone June meeting the Shire of Kojonup placed a request for the region’s 11 local government areas to apply for a Designated Area Migration Agreement.

DAMAs are a formal agreement between the Federal Government and a region designed to provide access to more overseas workers than standard skilled migration.

It would allow for a more flexible list of skills and concessions for the Great Southern when it comes to attracting international workers to the region.

I think it’s a win-win for everybody. Employers win, skilled migrants win and the region is able to operate with better productivity: Simon Lyas

Regional Development Australia Great Southern’s Simon Lyas said his organisation had previously been looking at the viability of an agreement for the region but had not pushed forward because of COVID-19 restrictions.

He said recent discussions between RDA, the Department of Home Affairs and the Great Southern Development Commission had reinvigorated the idea.

“We all thought this would solve a few workforce issues because of the skilled shortages within Australian workers currently,” he said.

“We can’t see the situation getting all that much better for the foreseeable future — most commentators in the public arena are saying this will be the case for the next five years.”

Mr Lyas said the RDA was prepared to apply to become the designated area representative and manage the application process.

There are 12 active agreements in place across Australia, four of which are in WA.

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