2 Jun 2017

Canberra says Vanuatu interference claim wrong

11:02 am on 2 June 2017

The Australian Government has denied reports it is delaying a deal between Tasmania and the Vanuatu Government for 10,000 Vanuatu workers to work on farms in Tasmania.

An official at the Australian High Commission in Port Vila, Malcolm Paterson, said the Australian Government had not sought any delay.

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Photo: RNZ/Johnny Blades

He was responding to claims by two Vanuatu MPs, John Sala and Andrew Napuat, that bureaucrats in Canberra had interfered.

Mr Paterson said Australia had been a strong advocate and supporter of the Seasonal Worker Programme since it started in 2008 and has not tried in any way to impinge on the Tasmania negotiations.

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