Announcement on Proposed Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)

  1. There was a recent report in The Australian newspaper which stated that 457 workers hired under the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) would be paid less than award wages paid to an Australian worker
  2. The DAMA guidelines have not been finalised as yet, and a pilot program is being developed in the Northern Territory which will cover areas where it has been difficult to recruit Australian workers.
  3. DAMA principles ensure that migrants under a 457 visa are only recruited if Australian workers are unable to fill the position. Australian workers are a first priority, and employers must prove that they have sought to recruit Australian workers within the previous six months.
  4. The minimum wage for a 457 Visa is higher than the minimum wage for an Australian worker, and the DAMA proposal is not promoting that this is changing.
  5. Under the program, the Department may allow for a maximum 10 % reduction on the current TSMIT of $ 53,900 reducing it to no less than $ 48, 510. This is still above the minimum salary level for an Australian citizen and designed to ensure that the employers do not replace local workers but rather to supplement the workplace with skilled employment.
  6. DAMA principles ensure that overseas workers must meet a minimum skill level, meet all of the relevant licensing requirements and training benchmarks
  7. The application is said to be subject to relevant State or Territory government endorsement as well as prior consultation with Unions, business and community stakeholders. DAMA’s will supplement, rather than substitute Australian workers, creating opportunities in areas where previously there were limited ones.

The full report from the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border protection Senator the Hon Michaela Cash can be found by clicking on the link below.