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Population, Business Confidence to Benefit From Regional DAMA

Car mechanic in workshop

The regional Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) will boost population and improve business confidence in the South Australia regions, according the state’s peak regional economic development agency.

Regional Development South Australia chairman Rob Kerin said the DAMA would help the state’s regions to secure up to $20 billion of investment and support the creation of 9500 jobs.

“The announcement of a regional DAMA will help South Australia’s regions overcome declining and static populations with the settling of migrants state-wide,” he said.

Mr Kerin said the DAMA would help ensure expansions, upgrades and planned investment by local, national and international businesses in regional South Australia were not restrained by access to skilled workers.

“South Australia’s regions are currently experiencing significant capital investment across many industries,” he said.

“However, the number of employees needed to maintain and grow regional business operations outweighs the current locally-based workforce, requiring businesses to supplement their workforce with migrants.

“The DAMA will underpin regional business growth and provide much-needed flexibility for a region to respond to local economic and labour market demands.

“Some of regional South Australia’s most significant and emerging industries are those with the greatest skill and labour needs, including agribusiness, food manufacturing and processing, mining, renewable energy, aged and disability care, tourism and accommodation.

“Migrant workers will not replace the local workforce, with training and upskilling continuing to be an area of focus for South Australian RDAs and businesses.

“South Australia’s regional townships have a long history of welcoming migrant settlement, recognising the value of the import of much needed skills but also the strength of a multicultural community.”

Regional Development Australia boards are formed as a partnership between the Commonwealth of Australia, Government of South Australia, and regional local government authorities.