A five year pilot programme that will provide up to 200 I-Kiribati, Tuvaluan and Nauruan citizens with access to multi-year visas to work in Northern Australia.
George Fraser says Australia recognises that practical action is needed to support a number of initiatives in the region to build resistance to climate impacts and to respond to natural disasters.
He said Australia was taking practical action through labor market access and labor migration support, expanding opportunities for I-Kiribati workers under the seasonal workers program.
In the Pacific, Australia is working with its small island neighbors to improve Australia's new aid investments to ensure that development impacts are lasting.
Fraser said Australia has also invested in climate resilient and Met services projects around the Pacific.
“We have over $50 million (US$36 million) at the moment invested in climate resilient projects through the Pacific and we are actively focusing on improving disaster preparedness and response capacity in the region. We've increased our Pacific regional assistance budget $16 million (US$11 million) for this financial year and within this program we support national meteorological services of 14 Pacific countries including Kiribati to provide Met services and early warning services to the Pacific,” said Fraser.
In addition to its regional and bilateral efforts, Australia is using its seat on the board for the green climate fund to ensure the region has equitable access to these funds and that the Pacific interests are well represented.
Meanwhile, New Zealand High Commissioner to Kiribati says New Zealand will soon roll out its fisheries labor mobility scheme for Kiribati and Tuvalu.
Donald Higgins says the scheme will provide employment opportunities for both I-Kiribati and Tuvaluans to work in New Zealand's fisheries sector.
He said New Zealand will continue to support the people of Kiribati through the development of their economic and employment opportunities and offshore labor mobility by providing access to decent work opportunities and economies.
Under its labor mobility programme, New Zealand has been providing a lot of support to Kiribati through the Marine Training Centre and the Recognized Seasonal Workers Scheme.