Businesses in northern Australia require an adaptable and mobile workforce with a range of skills. The White Paper includes a number of initiatives that aim to get more Australians into work in the north and help businesses access the workers they need to expand and grow.
These include the following reforms, which have been implemented:
- reforms to the Remote Jobs and Communities Programme, now called the Community Development Programme, to deliver better opportunities for remote job-seekers and foster stronger economic and social outcomes in remote Australia.
- a Designated Area Migration Agreement covering the Northern Territory,
- allowing Working Holiday Makers to work for an additional six months with one employer in high demand industries in the north, and
- supporting northern business to invest in the skills of their workforce with additional assistance under the Industry Skills Fund.
The Government is committed to improving business opportunities and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians across northern Australia. All the major road infrastructure projects being funded through the White Paper will include mandatory Indigenous employment targets, and the Government will work with Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to agree to meaningful Indigenous employment and supplier use targets for other major infrastructure projects.
The White Paper also commits to an expanded Seasonal Worker Programme in northern Australia, reforms to Work and Holiday visas to encourage visitors to work in the tourism or agriculture industries, and a pilot programme to provide citizens of Pacific micro-states with access to a multi-year visa to work in lower-skilled occupations in northern Australia.