Vanuatu chief wants Australia to do more for seasonal workers

Chief Willy Grey Plasua said this would ensure the cultural and faith welfare of Vanuatu citizens working in Australia is maintained.

In his speech welcoming Wong on Monday, Chief Plasua said the scheme was a highly profitable opportunity for the young people of Vanuatu.

But he said it also has a negative impact, in particular it increases domestic violence because the workers become vulnerable to immorality.

Chief Plasua blames this on the lack of a custom relationship, because neither their chief nor their pastor is present.

Australia signs security pact with Vanuatu

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced the signing during a visit to Vanuatu, Canberra's second such agreement with an important Pacific partner after a similar pact with Fiji in October.

Wong said Australia was proud to be Vanuatu's "security partner of choice".

"We believe security is a shared responsibility," she said in Port Vila, in comments released by her office.

The agreement would cover areas such as defence, policing and disaster relief. The pact signed with Fiji covered greater military mobility.

Australia a 'close security partner' for region -Vanuatu minister

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting Vanuatu with a bipartisan delegation to open an Australia-funded wharf at a maritime police base, and hold talks on improving work and education opportunities in Australia for Vanuatu citizens.

China has been a significant lender for infrastructure projects in Vanuatu in recent years, building its parliament house and sporting stadiums.

Australia stepped up its diplomacy throughout the Pacific islands after the Solomon Islands signed a security pact with Beijing in April.

Australian ministers on bipartisan visit to Vanuatu

The visit was confirmed in a joint statement by Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and The Pacific, Minister for Defence Industry, Simon Birmingham, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Mccormack MP, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific

As a member of the Pacific family, Australia's commitment to working with Pacific partners to achieve our shared aspirations and address our shared challenges is bipartisan.

IWF honours weightlifting coach, administrator Paul Coffa

Coffa was inducted at a Special Congress of the International Weightlifting Federation held in Bogota Colombia this week.

He is the first person ever to be inducted to the IWF Hall of Fame for outstanding achievement in the field of coaching and his record is truly remarkable.

In a career spanning 57 years, Paul Coffa has

Australia looks to Pacific to fill staff gaps

The federal government has expanded the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility Scheme to include aged care, hospitality and tourism industries in a bid to address workforce shortfalls.

A Committee for Economic Development of Australia report says the country needs to find an extra 35,000 aged care workers per year.

In Western Australia's south, six Fijian aged care workers have filled some of the vacant, much-needed positions caring for the elderly.

The workers were the first to arrive under the expanded PALM scheme.

Vanuatu seasonal workers in overseas prisons

Attempts to question the Labour Commissioner of Vanuatu, Murielle Meltenoven, on this subject has been unsuccessful.

Daily Post is now attempting to speak with seasonal worker agents to find out if seasonal workers are properly briefed on how to seek legal counsel in the event they get in trouble with the law overseas


Australian donation for Pacific Games

The funding is expected to help visiting athletes with accommodation, sporting equipment and the construction of a temporary venue for open water disciplines.

According to the Inside the Games website this is a counter-balance move against the growing influence of China who have pledge to donate $US21 million to the games.

However, Australian Pacific minister Pat Conroy said Australia is only seeking to help the Solomons and its population.


Australia: Gunman arrested after Canberra airport shooting

Police say shots were fired in the terminal's check-in area on Sunday afternoon local time. No-one was reported injured.

The man was quickly detained, and a firearm recovered. His motives remain unclear.

The capital's airport was evacuated as a precaution.

Australian media report that the gunman fired approximately five shots. Bullet holes were later seen in the glass windows of the terminal.

Footage has emerged on social media purportedly showing a man being arrested by police officers at the airport.

Australian rugby league coach and former player dies aged 49

Green guided North Queensland Cowboys to their first National Rugby League (NRL) premiership title in 2015.

As a player, he made 162 appearances across five different clubs during a 10-year career, before retiring in 2004.

At the time of his death, he was the head coach of Queensland in the State of Origin Series.

Queensland Police said there were "no suspicious circumstances" around Green's death and that a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Green's family said they are "devastated" by his loss.