Following the recent visa changes made by the Australian Government, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce has been in consultation with State and Federal Government regarding how the changes will impact our region.
As a Regional Certifying Body for Queensland, the role of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce is to assess applications lodged under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and provide advice to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIABP). This visa type is also known as subclass 187.
The RSMS (visa 187) was introduced to address particular issues affecting employers in regional Australia. These centred on a smaller labour pool and lower salary/wage levels, compared to capital cities. The programs effectively gave regional employers an advantage in addressing skill shortage. These programs are relatively small in number when compared to the total skilled migration program, however have been important resources for regional employers.
The Cairns Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a survey in the coming weeks to gauge the present and future impacts on Cairns businesses. The response will determine whether the Cairns Chamber will continue to work with State and Federal Government on a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) which would allow concessional treatment of temporary skilled visas.