Shepparton workshop explains visa options

By Country News

A workshop was held in Shepparton on Friday to provide employers with detailed information on hiring migrant workers to fill vacant positions.

The workshop was hosted by Greater Shepparton City Council in conjunction with Moira Shire and Campaspe Shire councils.

Greater Shepparton City Council sustainable development director Geraldine Christou said a survey of 54 workers in agriculture identified a skills shortage in the Goulburn Valley.

“The Department of Home Affairs provided information on existing visas and what opportunities the Designated Area Migrant Agreement could have in this region,” she said.

Representatives of the Department of Home Affairs outlined the details of a Designated Area Migrant Agreement, so the three municipalities could determine its viability for the region.

DAMA labour agreements are between the Federal Government and endorsed employers and are generally in effect for five years, focusing on the needs of a specific region.

DAMA schemes use the Temporary Skills Shortage (visa subclass 482) and Employer Nominated Scheme visa (visa subclass 186) programs.

A DAMA scheme is currently being used in the Great South Coast of Victoria, covering the five municipalities of Corangamite, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool.

One of 20 people who attended the meeting was Arjun Bhattarai, from Nepal, who has been in Australia for one year, working on orchards in Tatura.

“I want to know the information because I want to stay in Australia for a long time,” Mr Bhattarai said.

For more information on visa options for employing workers in regional Australia, visit: