Designated Area Migration Agreement for Western Australia

The Western Australian government has successfully negotiated the establishment of a Western Australian Designated Area Migration Agreement (WA DAMA) with the Commonwealth government. 

The WA DAMA will be the 5th DAMA for WA, complementing the existing Goldfields, Kimberley, Pilbara and South West DAMAs. This initiative, alongside the existing State Nominated Migration Program, aims to facilitate the settlement of up to 10,000 overseas workers annually in WA. The WA DAMA is designed to address significant workforce shortages across the state.

Employers in Western Australia will retain access to existing DAMAs specific to regional areas of WA, while gaining expanded opportunities under the new state-wide DAMA. This includes a wider range of eligible occupations and associated concessions, providing employers with enhanced flexibility in meeting their workforce needs.

DAMAs are formal arrangements between the Commonwealth government and a designated area representative (DAR), which could be a state or territory government or a regional body. These agreements facilitate access to a broader range of overseas workers beyond what standard skilled visa programs offer. This flexibility includes variations to standard occupations and skills lists, as well as negotiable concessions to visa requirements.

DAMAs are tailored to meet the specific labour market needs and unique circumstances of geographical regions, and each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Approval factors include demonstrated efforts to prioritise Australian workers, annual limits on overseas worker numbers, and provision of local support to migrant workers.

Individuals cannot apply directly for a DAMA. They must be sponsored by an employer operating within a designated region and for an occupation specified in the DAMA head agreement. This structure ensures that DAMAs contribute effectively to addressing regional workforce shortages while upholding standards of local labour market participation.

 

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