12 Dec 2005

Further call for Australia and New Zealand to reconsider labour mobility

4:36 pm on 12 December 2005

There's been another call for Australia and New Zealand to reconsider their stance on labour mobility in the region.

Fiji's Labour minister, Kenneth Zinck, says in the face of high unemployment, the two countries could help out by allowing temporary workers in to their agricultural sectors.

The access was a key concern voiced by Pacific Island countries when the Pacific Plan was discussed and subsequently adopted in Papua New Guinea but both Australia and New Zealand resisted the demands.

Mr Zinck says Pacific Island countries need a greater voice.

"The Pacific Islands need to form a bloc in order to have a voice in the international arena, and perhaps have a voice to express their concerns as far as growing unemployment, to Australia and New Zealand, who I believe can help as far as unskilled workers being employed, briefly, on perhaps six months or three months stints on farms in Australia and New Zealand."

Fiji's Labour minister, Kenneth Zinck.

New Zealand and Australia have said they're prepared to look further into the issue.