Boosting Northern Territory businesses with skilled workers delivery

The Albanese Government is working to address acute skills shortages in the Northern Territory, today announcing an extension to the existing migration agreement with the NT Government, benefitting over 280 employers across the territory.

The one year extension to the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) will cover up to 625 temporary skilled visas for new workers, delivering higher wages for new workers and more expansive pathways for permanent residency for existing workers, ensuring all levels of government are working together to get skilled workers into areas that need them most.

This agreement will see deliver more care workers, nurses, dental assistants, cooks and chefs for local NT communities, and ensure territory employers are able to hire and retain workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers, benefitting the territory economy.

The Albanese Government will increase the types of jobs offered under the agreement and streamline a number of requirements to make it easier for employers to use, while expanding pathways to permanent residency for workers and their families.

The agreement will now also include much-needed occupations like primary and secondary school teachers, and software engineers, relaxing eligibility restrictions to appropriately address workforce shortages.

The Albanese and Fyles Governments understand the importance of ensuring migrant workers are safe at work, and are afforded proper pay and conditions.

The Albanese Government is also removing the former Liberal Government's non-monetary compensation meaning workers will have more pay in their pockets.

In order to meet salary thresholds from 2024 onward, minimum wages under the agreement's extension will also rise from around $48,000 to $55,000.

Both governments look forward to working in a tripartite manner with business and unions as the third NT DAMA is negotiated in 2024, to begin in 2025.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Northern Australia, Madeleine King:

"The Northern Territory is a place of enormous opportunity but it also faces challenges. Attracting and retaining skilled workers can be difficult.

"This Government is acting to ensure the Northern Territory has the workers and services it needs to keep its economy strong.

"This extension of the Designated Area Migration Agreement is another example of how the Albanese Government is working with the Northern Territory Government to ensure the top end continues to power ahead."

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles:

"The Albanese Labor Government inherited a system with backlog after backlog, delays and waitlists.

"We haven't wasted a day in cleaning up immigration the mess left by the Liberals over a decade of neglect, including under former Minister Dutton.

"Peter Dutton himself oversaw a complicated, slow and unplanned mess when it came to people coming into this country.

"The Albanese Government is bringing governments, businesses and unions together to build a migration system that works in the interests of all Territorians."

Quotes attributable to NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles:

"The Northern Territory is bursting with opportunity. The economy is going in the right direction, we just need to make sure we have the working population to make sure we stay competitive.

"This agreement will be used by over 280 employers here in the Territory - covering up to 625 temporary skilled workers.

"This is why my government will continue to work with the Federal Government to make sure we get more skilled workers to the Territory. We want to help more businesses find staff to make sure business keeps moving. This is not about just encouraging people to move to the territory for the short term, we want to incentivise them to stay."

Quotes attributable to NY Minister for Jobs and Training, Joel Bowden:

"The Territory Labor Government is working on making the Territory an ideal and attractive destination for overseas skilled workers.

"This one year extension will make sure we continue to have a rolling number of skilled workers in the territory.

"We will continue to work with the Federal Government and local businesses to address ongoing worker shortages, grow our population through international migration, while delivering a skilled and diverse workforce."