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New arrangements boost support for regional Australia.

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New Arrangements Boost Support for Regional Australia

MPS 092/2002

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Philip Ruddock expects employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to receive a boost under newly introduced changes to temporary business visa arrangements.

As part of the Government's focus on rural and regional Australia during the Year of the Outback, the initiatives which took effect from 1 November, will greatly improve regional access to temporary skilled labour and provide much needed assistance for state and regional development projects.

The changes draw on the Temporary Business (Subclass 457) visas to allow rural and regional businesses to bring skilled workers into Australia for up to four years.

Under the 'regional 457' arrangements, departmental officials will work closely with state, regional and local bodies who are in touch with local labour markets and conditions in rural and regional areas.

The new arrangements recognise the special needs of businesses in regional areas and areas of low population growth, but will not offer employers a way to access cheap unskilled foreign labour.

Forty-nine Regional Certifying Bodies are responsible for establishing that positions cannot be filled locally.

These bodies are drawn from State Government departments, Regional Development boards and local community and business organisations covering all areas of Australia with the exception of the major metropolitan centres of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, the Gold Coast, Newcastle and Wollongong.

The concessional arrangements complement those available for permanent entry to regional Australia under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS). Regional employers now have a choice of sponsoring temporary or permanent workers.

Temporary workers arriving under this scheme will be closely monitored to ensure that they continue to satisfy the scheme's requirements.

Regional employers seeking to take advantage of the initiative should contact their nearest Regional Certifying Body or obtain further details from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) website at

4 November 2002

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URL: Last update: 04 November 2002 at 13:56 AEST