MEMBER STATEMENT ON GREAT SOUTH COAST DESIGNATED AREA MIGRATION AGREEMENT

I rise today to welcome the launch of the Great South Coast designated area migration agreement (DAMA), which I was very pleased to attend last Tuesday alongside the Honourable Dan Tehan, Member for Wannon, and Cr Tony Herbert, mayor of the Warrnambool City Council. I had previously attended the meeting which initiated the need for DAMA in my role as a Corangamite shire councillor, so I was particularly pleased to be in attendance when this much-needed program came to fruition. DAMA is a five-year agreement which will enable the Great South Coast region to address its worker shortage, which exists across many of its industries and which is stunting the economy, by allowing them to fill these vacancies with overseas workers. DAMA will initially provide 100 overseas workers, providing effective relief for local employers in filling key roles in the dairy, hospitality, healthcare, meat processing and value-adding agribusiness industries. I have often said that Western Victoria Region does not have a jobs crisis but rather a worker crisis, and the DAMA is a great step in the right direction in resolving this.

19 June 2019