20 Dec 2013

Australia eases restrictions on prospective Tongan seasonal workers

10:30 am on 20 December 2013

The Tonga government has welcomed changes made by the Australian government to eligibility for the Australian seasonal work programme.

The two changes, effective from next month, are the removal of the 45 years of age upper limit on prospective workers and the end of a stand-down period for those who have already participated in the similar New Zealand scheme.

Radio Tonga reports that in the year to June 1573 Tongans went to New Zealand under the recognised seasonal employers scheme and another 1199 went to Australia under its programme.

The seasonal work brings tens of millions of dollars into the Tonga economy each year.