News National PM to give Fiji workers access to Australia

PM to give Fiji workers access to Australia

Scott Morrison inspects a Fiji honor guard upon arrival at Suva. Photo: AAP
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Fijian workers will work on Australian farms under the expanded Pacific Labour Scheme as Australia sends 1000 hours of television the other way each year.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in Fiji on Thursday to also announce an $84 million partnership to provide university education for teachers and lift teaching standards.

“We will work with Fiji to help them access the Pacific Labour Scheme this year, boosting both economies while helping Australian farmers,” Mr Morrison said ahead of his visit.

The expanded migrant labour scheme, which was previously capped at 2000 places, allows workers from select Pacific island countries to work in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.

Australia is also expanding its voice in the Pacific, as it pushes back against Chinese efforts to increase its power in the region.

A $17 million program will send 1000 hours of Australian content each year to established media networks in the Pacific for the next three years.

FreeTV will run a study on what Pacific viewers are looking for before the news, sport, drama, lifestyle and children’s shows are sent for broadcast.

A six-year, $84 million deal with the University of South Pacific will also help lift teaching training standards.

“Our investment into tertiary education means better teachers, more students accessing study, while creating opportunities for the Australian education sector,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison met with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama on Thursday afternoon (AEDT) and the two leaders are expected to announce a significant new economic and security partnership, including upgrading the Black Rock military training base.

He will also face questions over Australia’s attempt to strip terrorist Neil Prakash of his Australian citizenship.