The Fiji Times » ‘No visa waiver yet’

Visa waivers for Fijian citizens traveling to Australia are not happening anytime soon.

At a media roundtable in Suva yesterday, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said the issue of visa waivers was a top concern for many Pacific island countries, including Fiji.

“That’s the flip side of the previous question about the Pacific Australia Labor Mobility (PALM) scheme, I mean we see access to the Australian economy as a real opportunity for the Pacific,” he said. .

“Pacific nations have come to us asking us to come up with initiatives that allow Pacific nations to seize the opportunity, which is access to the Australian economy.

“We will continue to coordinate with Pacific governments to make sure we get it right, but it’s important that we get it right. You may, with good intention, find yourself walking down a path that may not yield the outcome you intended.

“So we want to make sure that we do this in close consultation with Pacific nations, ensuring that access to the Australian economy is something that provides economic benefit to Pacific nations through remittances. funds and others. A

According to Mr Marles, Australia is aware of the issue of visa waivers and continues to have an ongoing conversation with Pacific partner countries around it.

“Having been to the various Pacific countries over the past 10 days, this is a question that comes up time and time again.”

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