“Allowing guest workers from East Timor to work in north Western Australia is a win-win situation,” said Senator Ron Boswell today.
“It gets much needed workers in to help industry in the remote Kimberly region and helps train and sustain our neighbours suffering from poverty and high unemployment.”
“During a recent visit to East Timor, I saw at first hand how urgently many East Timorese needed jobs and training. Communist regimes such as China and Cuba are doing a lot in East Timor and it is in Australia’s interests to do what we can as well.”
Senator Boswell said that he understood a lot of preparation had gone into the proposed use of workers from East Timor and that an agreement had been signed with the WA government.
“There is a specific proposal for 300 employees and trainees and 100 occupational trainees to help meet labour shortages in tourism, forestry and aquaculture. Employers would pay for their transport, accommodation and meals.”
“If there is a need that is not being filled by locals, then why not look to East Timor – which is actually handier geographically than Brisbane, Sydney or Perth.”
“The last thing we need on our doorstep is a nation where the young male population has nothing to do, no jobs, no training and no money. That is a recipe for political instability and continuing demands on our peacekeeping resources.”
“Practical aid in terms of a few hundred jobs that Australians don’t want, can make a big difference to the families of the East Timorese workers.”
Senator Boswell said that he also supported in principle the use of guest workers in the horticulture industries. “Perhaps the detail isn’t yet right and some of the issues haven’t been thought through completely but in principle yes I support our farmers being able to harvest their crops. That’s why we have farmers.”