Seasonal workers

Vanuatu seasonal workers wait out Australian fires

Murielle Meltenoven said there are 480 workers who are not in danger or and unlikely to be brought back to Vanuatu.

Ms Meltenoven said her office was working closely with Vanuatu's High Commissioner in Canberra, Samson Fare, and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to ensure the workers were safe.

Earlier this week, the Vanuatu Daily Post reported that 48 ni-Vanuatu workers had to leave apple orchards in New South Wales that were threatened by fire.

Vanuatu rogue agents threatened with jail

The warning has been issued by the Commissioner of Labour Murielle Meltenoven who said unauthorised organisations purporting to handle job applications could be fined more than $US40,000.

She said such fake agents make attractive promises and enticed potential applicants to pay them cash in order to handle all their travels to either New Zealand or Australia.

Ms Meltenoven has appealed to chiefs across the country to report to her office any individual or organisations that falsely operates as labour agents.

She said a fake agent could be fined up to $US17,000.

Strengthening trade and seasonal work a key for Vanuatu in Australia

He met with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne and the Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific Anne Ruston.

Discussions focused on improving economic relations, including the kava trade.

This led to an agreement for an outreach programme by Vanuatu leaders to indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, where Kava abuse is reportedly a problem.

Mr Regenvanu also visited farms in North Sydney last week, where he was briefed on the experiences and working environment of ni-Vanuatu under the Seasonal Workers Programme.

Kingdom Builders team visits Vanuatu’s Tagabe Agriculture Farm

Kingdom Builders, consist of young men from different denominations on Vanua Lava, Banks.

These young men were given the opportunity to visit Tagabe Agriculture farm in Port Vila on Wednesday.

Pinata Farms welcomes 4th intake of Vanuatu seasonal workers

Piñata Farms is among Australia’s approved agricultural industry employers recruiting workers from the Pacific Islands under the Federal Government’s Seasonal Worker Program (SWP).

North Queensland operations manager Stephen Scurr said eight workers from Vanuatu were currently harvesting pineapples at the company’s Mareeba farm, double last year’s intake.

He said they had decided to recruit workers from Vanuatu, which was one of nine participating Pacific Island countries, as Piñata Farms managed a sandalwood and lime plantation there.

Vanuatu seasonal workers in three-vehicle crash in NZ

Local media report a mini-van, a utility van and a car collided at an intersection yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Four of the seasonal workers are being treated for minor injuries and shock.

The workers were returning home from work when the accident occurred.

It’s understood the van carrying the workers tried to overtake another vehicle and collided with two other vehicles.

Yesterday’s accident in New Zealand comes less than a month after a head-on collision claimed the lives of three Ni-Vanuatu seasonal workers in Queensland.


Fiji RSE workers list concerns with NZ work environment

Last month the Fiji government announced it had banned entire villages from taking part in the Recognised Seasonal Employer ccheme in New Zealand or the similar Australian scheme after complaints from the New Zealand government about misconduct and disorderly behaviour by some Fijian workers.

Now the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, has met with some of the Fijian workers in this country to " hear their views of the challenges faced."

Vanuatu road crash victims flown home today

The Daily Post newspaper said one victim was from Mele village outside Port Vila in Shefa Province while one victim is from Malo Island in Sanma Province and the third was from Ambae in Penama Province.

Two victims who survived the crash are expected to return home when their travel documents are ready.

This is the first fatal accident involving workers from Vanuatu employed in Australia under the seasonal work programme.


Photo: Wikipedia

2 Vanuatu crash victims remain in hospital

The men were travelling in a mini bus, heading south to pick fruit when their vehicle collided head on with an oncoming semi-trailer on Bruce Highway

Rita Kelly of Queensland Ambulance Service told 9 News, their officers “came across a very horrific scene.”

It was raining at the time of the incident and the roads were very wet.

Vanuatu media have identified the deceased as Ioan Malas, Bridly Kere and Veta Bong.

Two other passengers Charlie Seule and Etienne Malep suffered neck, back and leg injuries and are admitted at Innisfail Hospital.

Would-be seasonal workers in Vanuatu advised to be vigilant when considering a move to Australia

The concern has been sparked by the case of a Ni-Vanuatu man who was forced to take his employer to court after he was paid just AUD$150 for six months work.

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific, condemned those who abuse the scheme but pointed out that such cases are very rare.

Vanuatu's Commissioner of Labour, Lionel Kaluat, says the case is a matter of public record now, and like the minister, he believes the level of exploitation was unusual.