Govt urged to include E Timor in Pacific visa scheme

Jun 24, 2008

Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks has urged the Federal Government to include East Timor in its proposed guest worker visa scheme.

Mr Bracks, who is now and adviser to East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, has told ABC Radio National it is essential for the future growth of East Timor that young workers can have more employment opportunities as he says the rate of unemployment among young people is at 60 per cent.

"[East Timor] is in a rebuilding phase and part of that rebuilding is making sure that young people have opportunities for work but not only work - accredited training, leading to lifelong skills which can assist their country on their return," he said.

Federal Cabinet is considering a guest worker scheme which would allow workers from certain Pacific Islands to do seasonal work in Australia.

About 5,000 visas may be granted, but East Timor has not been included among the list of countries eligible under the plan.