Australia rejects claims new visa arrangements will shut-out Pacific workers.
The Australian government's brushed off suggestions that changes it announced this week to its working backpacker scheme, would likely shut out Pacific workers from being employed on Australian farms picking fruit and vegetables.

On Monday, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced an expansion of the Working Holiday Visa program, that will see more backpackers able to work on farms - but he also announced that Pacific Islanders coming on Seasonal Worker Programme will be able to stay for an additional three months.

Critics of the changes fear favour the Working Holiday Visa program and will likely see even more farmers choose to hire foreign backpackers, at the expense of Pacific workers.
Australia's Assistant Minister for the Pacific, Anne Ruston has rejected those claims.

"I would contend that is absolutely not the case and into a large extent, these two types of visas that we are using...are two quite different forms of labour," she told Pacific Beat.