Changes to Labour Market Testing requirements for Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)

What is a DAMA?

A DAMA is an agreement between the Australian government and a regional, state or territory authority.

The benefit of DAMAs are that allows more access to overseas workers so that regions can better respond to their often unique economic and labour markets.

Currently the following regions have DAMAs in place:

  • Northern Territory
  • The Goldfields, West Australia
  • Great South Coast, Victoria
  • Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement
  • South Australia Regional
  • Orana, New South Wales
  • Far North Queensland

Under the DAMA employers in these areas can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers under a head agreement which is usually in effect for a period of 5 years.

What are the changes announced on 1 September 2021?

Businesses using the DAMA will have more flexible Labour Market Testing (LMT) options such as:

  • Providing evidence of LMT for a period of 12 months prior to lodging the application compared to the previous requirements of 4 months
  • Providing evidence of only 2 advertisement with one to be locally without having national reach

The Department of Home Affairs has also received feedback from the dairy, fishing, horticulture, meat and pork industry peak bodies requesting regional-based concessions in labour agreements to fill critical skill shortages.

Similar concessions will be made available under Company-Specific Labour Agreements.

These proposed concessions, which include skills, work experience, English, age, salary and labour market testing requirements.

It is hoped these further concessions will be advised soon.

How can FC Lawyers help?

At FC Lawyers we understand the implications of skills and labour shortage in the regions and have clients situated right through the remote parts of Australia.

If you are interested in considering a DAMA or want to look at other regional options, contact our expert team of immigration lawyers and registered migration agents.