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The Federal Government also signed two special agreements, Designated Area Migration Agreements with the Northern Territory and the Great Southern Coast of Victoria, offering a pathway to permanent residency to semi-skilled migrants with limited English.

Picture of farm workers by AAP

Immigration Minister David Coleman said agreements could be signed with more regions to address the labour needs of these areas – something he said was his priority right after he took charge of his portfolio last year.

“The Government is working to improve our immigration program to better match the needs of specific locations,” Mr Coleman said. “In particular, we are looking closely at ways of filling employment gaps in regional areas.”

The Designated Area Migration Agreements that will lower the skills, language and income requirements and let semi-skilled migrant workers access a pathway to permanent migration comes in the wake of a vociferous demand for a standalone agriculture visa to meet a growing demand for farm workers.

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