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MEDIA RELEASE - DAMA pivotal in solving workforce shortage.docx

12 June 2019

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank has labelled the region’s new migration agreement as a ‘pivotal step’ in working towards solving the region’s workforce shortage whilst setting a pathway for other region’s to follow.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan yesterday officially launched the Great South Coast Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) which will provide opportunities for south west employers to hire overseas workers in roles unable to be filled by Australian residents.

Cr Rank said the DAMA was the first to be introduced in Victoria and only agreement driven by local government, led in partnership by the Great South Coast council group.

“The south west is in the fortunate position of having almost full employment, meaning we have more jobs than our community can fill,” she said.

“There are hundreds of positions now vacant which cannot be filled locally and our shire is working hard to fill the void. The gaps are most evident in the agricultural, manufacturing and logistic trades with ongoing recruitment failing to find long-term employees, which is curbing business growth.

“The DAMA provides a new avenue, once all local and national recruitment options have been exhausted by the employer, to find appropriate long term solutions to put the right person in the right role.

“This is a pivotal step in solving our workforce shortage and importantly it will assist local businesses to grow and remain competitive.”

A total of 27 occupations have been identified in the DAMA.

Cr Rank said up to 100 employees would be appointed in the first year, with the potential to grow in the future.
“Whilst the inaugural year has been capped, it is likely the recruitment figure will grow in the future as employers register their interest and prove eligibility for the program,” she said.

“It must be noted that this is not an easy tick and flick process. Businesses must undergo a range of thorough checks and reviews to ensure they have capacity to sustain additional employees and prove they have advertised nationally unsuccessfully over an extended period to fill the role. There is also a financial commitment in attracting the visa worker to ensure long term commitment to the recruited employee.

“Importantly there are already businesses lining up eager to be involved, who have exhausted avenues to fill their workforce shortage. The DAMA provides new pathways for them to realise business growth. Furthermore it has the potential to position the Great South Coast as a national example in leading successful migration pathways, addressing our regional skills gap.”

To learn more about the program visit

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