Friday, 29 August 2008 3:17 PM

Solomons to Join Australian Pilot Scheme on a Later Date

Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua has revealed that Solomon Islands will take part in the Australian Pacific Seasonal Worker scheme at a much later date.

In a Press Conference yesterday, Prime Minister Sikua also mentioned that Solomon Islands have been formally included in the New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme, an initiative the Pacific Leaders welcomed.

"Australia's announcement of the Pilot Pacific Seasonal Work scheme is a means to greater economic integration and development," said Dr. Sikua.

Prime Minister Sikua went on to state that Solomon Islands may join the scheme when it will be reviewed in 18 months time.

According to Dr. Sikua, Solomon Islands were left out because of the lack of experience of the work needed.

However, Dr. Sikua encouraged Solomon Islanders to be optimistic because of the inclusion into the New Zealand Seasonal Work Scheme.

Solomon Times took to the streets to find out what people thought of the exclusion from the Australian Work Scheme.

"I do not think we should take it too hard. I think Australia may be right in saying that we do not have the experience as we might not be used to the weather and amount of work we may be required to do. However, i appreciate the New Zealand Government to have included us," says Joyce Mekenea of Vura two.

"We think it may be a little unfair as Solomon Islanders are also struggling,just like our other Pacific neighbors, however, it is up to the Australian Government to decide who to involve. Maybe we should wait for the next review, then we can see if we can be able to be included," says Ridina Suanira of Ngossi.

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By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province