16 Feb 2009

Tonga leader says seasonal workers who behave and perform will have a great opportunity

7:48 pm on 16 February 2009

Tongans given work under a new Australian Government seasonal labour scheme will have the opportunity to return in subsequent years as long as they meet the conditions of the scheme.

About 50 people from Tonga flew from Nuku'alofa today (monday) to take up seven months of horticultural work in Victoria's Swanhill region.

About 2-thousand people from Tonga, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are expected to be employed in the first year of the scheme which is designed to satisfy a labour demand and provide opportunities for young Pacific workers .

Tonga's Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, who saw the workers off, says they have a great opportunity.

"The beauty of this scheme (is) that they do the right thing, they show that they are worthy workers.... they will have an opportunity to return each year."

Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Feleti Sevele.