Leader of the Opposition and MP for Aoke Langa langa, Hon. Matthew Wale acknowledges and thanks the Government and people of Australia for their continued support to the Pacific Island countries and its peoples in these trying times.

The acknowledgement follows recent confirmation by the Australian High Commission Office in Honiara that the labour quota for Pacific Island countries under the Seasonal Workers Programme, has been increased to 12,500.

“This is a notable increase. It is both timely and is a clear demonstration of the Australian government’s sincerity in lending a hand where it really matters to the ordinary people of the Pacific,” said the Opposition Leader.

Hon. Wale goes on to add that, “With the increase and inclusion of health and home care workers, new doors are now open for a lot more Solomon Islanders to benefit from the arrangement. This is good for both families and the country as a whole moving forward hence, I extend my hearty appreciation to the Government and people of Australia."

At the same time, Hon. Wale stressed that the announcement also calls for improvements in the domestic systems handling the scheme, adding that with proper planning, Solomon Island numbers can take advantage of the increase to up our domestic quota.

“A starting point as I have stated earlier is for the government to do away with the processing costs. Small as they may be, they can be a hindrance discouraging people that really need the opportunities to impact the domestic cash flow and industry needs in our rebuilding efforts.

"The Solomon Islands government must get its act together and work proactively to fill more than half of the 12,500 increase by March 2022," the Opposition Leader further added.

Source: Opposition Press