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Kimberley Designated Area Migration Agreement
Welcome to the new Kimberley Designated Area Migration Agreement (Kimberley DAMA) information site, where you will find everything you need to know about how it can work for you, how to access it for your business, and more. The Kimberley DAMA was achieved through a major collaborative effort by the East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and after being signed by the Minister for Immigration on 28 March 2022, is now in operation for five years. If not already, subscribe below for Kimberley DAMA updates, news, and tips.
The East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry would like to sincerely thank the Kimberley Development Commission (KDC) for their very generous support through a Regional Economic Development grant, that has assisted us immensely to implement and administer the Kimberley DAMA. The KDC’s kind contribution has allowed us to make huge inroads to addressing labour shortage issues across the East Kimberley.
Kimberley DAMA News & Updates
Kimberley DAMA is open for business – 22nd January 2024
The EKCCI website has been updated to reflect the changes of the recently approved Kimberley DAMA. All documents are now available on our Kimberley DAMA webpage.
For businesses to familiarise themselves with the Kimberley DAMA, it is recommended as a starting point, that you read the following documents (linked below but also on our website) to get a thorough understanding of what the Kimberley DAMA is, how it works, the occupations and concessions available, and what is needed as part of an endorsement request:
- Kimberley DAMA Information Guide
- Kimberley DAMA Occupations and Concessions list
- Kimberley DAMA Endorsement Submission Guide
The EKCCI will be holding online information sessions in March to provide an overview and allow businesses the opportunity to ask questions. Dates are yet to be confirmed so please keep your eye out for more information about this in the coming weeks.
The EKCCI will be accepting endorsement requests from businesses Kimberley wide from the 22nd of January 2024.
Please note, for any new applications including those from the previous designated area of the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, there is a new Request for Endorsement form that is required for each application and can be downloaded via our website.
The EKCCI is thrilled to now be able to offer this program to businesses across the broader Kimberley with a total of 188 occupations available.
Kimberley DAMA Approved – 19th December 2023
The EKCCI has a Christmas present for all Kimberley based businesses. The long-awaited Deed of Variation to extend the EK DAMA across the Kimberley, as well as the addition of 80 much needed occupations has been Approved!!!
As you know the DAMA program aims to bring in skilled and semi-skilled migrants to the region to fill critical jobs that cannot otherwise be filled from the Australian Labour Market. The DAMA offers various benefits that aim to incentivise migrants to choose jobs in our region over other areas around the country.
The changes to the DAMA include:
- The extension the designated area to include all four Local Government Areas that make up the broader Kimberley.
- Changing the name of the EK DAMA to the ‘Kimberley DAMA’.
- Adding 80 occupations to the existing occupation list, with concessions such as Age, English and TSMIT available.
- Some minor technical amendments to skills, qualifications and experience requirements, that aim to simplify those requirements.
The Kimberley DAMA will hopefully go a long way to alleviating some of the labour shortages issues and stress that businesses have dealt with over the past few years and assist with more seamless business operations across the whole Kimberley region.
The EKCCI would like to sincerely thank the Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles and all the Departmental staff at Home Affairs for acknowledging the labour shortages in the region and approving our variation to allow us to offer the DAMA program to businesses Kimberley wide.
Thank you to all businesses who contributed to the survey and demonstrated your labour needs, and for being incredibly patient throughout this process. Thank you also to all industry and regional bodies who provided letters of support that most certainly helped with this approval.
The EKCCI will continue to manage the Kimberley DAMA and we will be updating our documents and website to reflect the changes over the coming weeks. We aim to be open for business by the 22nd of January 2024.
TSMIT changes – 26th May 2023
You may be aware that the TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) will increase from $53,900 to $70,000 from 1 July, 2023.
The EKCCI has received a number of queries about how the TSMIT increase will impact Labour Agreements. The official advice is that:
“From 1 July 2023, the TSMIT will increase from $53,900 to $70,000. New nomination applications from this date will need to meet the new TSMIT of $70,000 or the annual market salary rate whichever is higher.”
Although not confirmed yet in writing, the Department of Home Affairs have said that in respect of labour agreements, the TSMIT will be applied at date of nominating an individual overseas worker, therefore nominations lodged up to and including 30 June 2023 will continue to be subject to the current TSMIT (minimum $53,900), and those lodged from 1 July 2023 onwards, will be subject to the increased TSMIT (minimum $70,000 or $63,000 with a Kimberley DAMA concession). It is expected that the Labour Agreement Section will soon confirm this advice in writing and we will advise when they have done so.
The Kimberley DAMA currently provides access to a 10% TSMIT concession for many occupations (skill level 3-5) in the Kimberley DAMA occupation list. Many employers that have been endorsed under the Kimberley DAMA have not requested a TSMIT concession because proposed salaries were higher than $53,900 and a TSMIT concession was not needed.
Considering the new TSMIT of $70,000, it is expected that many employers who have not yet lodged associated nomination/s, may now seek to have the TSMIT concession added to or included in their Kimberley DAMA labour agreements.
If you have an existing or pending Kimberley DAMA Labour Agreement, and now wish to add a TSMIT concession, the EKCCI has created a form for employers to complete that can be used to request a TSMIT concession be added. Note that for nomination lodged from 1 July 2023, until the outcome of our Deed of Variation is known (see below**), these requests can only currently be agreed to where the salary is at least 90% of the new TSMIT of $70,000 (i.e. $63,000).
There will be a one-off $250 administrative payable to the EKCCI for facilitating the variation to add a TSMIT concession.
If you are preparing your initial Kimberley DAMA Endorsement request, you can request the TSMIT concession through the normal endorsement process.
**Please note: The EKCCI has submitted an addendum to our current deed of variation requesting increased levels of TSMIT concessions become available under the Kimberley DAMA for lower skilled level jobs that have an award or market salary below 90% of the new TSMIT ($63,000). We have requested that our deed of variation request be considered urgently and hope to have an update around this soon.
Decreased Kimberley DAMA Endorsement fees – 30th March 2023
We are also very pleased to be able to offer reduced endorsement fees for the next 6 months for those businesses located within the SWEK boundary. We know businesses have been dealing with various challenges associated with the recent floods, and that labour shortages is further exacerbated by this.
To show our on-going support for businesses in the East Kimberley we have adjusted our endorsement fees to the following:
- FOR EKCCI MEMBERS: $885 of the first position, and $585 for every position thereafter.
- FOR NON-MEMBERS: $985 for the first position, and $685 for every position thereafter.
Deed of variation – 10 December 2023
The EKCCI submitted our first Deed of Variation on the 8th of December 2022.
The Deed of Variation submission seeks the following variations to the Kimberley DAMA:
- Extend the designated area to include all four LGAs that make up the broader Kimberley;
- Change the name of the EK DAMA to the ‘Kimberley DAMA’;
- Add numerous occupations to the existing Kimberley DAMA occupation list, based on the demonstrated needs of the broader region, with concessions that align with existing Kimberley DAMA occupation concessions;
- Some minor technical amendments to skills, qualifications and experience requirements, that also serve to simplify those requirements;
- Amend the way caps are applied, to time of endorsement rather than time of nomination.
- Additional TSMIT concessions for lower skills occupations*
*Following the recent announcement that TSMIT will be increased to $70,000 effective 1 July 2023, The EKCCI has submitted an addendum to our current deed of variation requesting that increased levels of TSMIT concessions become available under the Kimberley DAMA for lower skilled level jobs that have an award or market salary below 90% of the new TSMIT ($63,000).*
We have requested that our deed of variation request be considered urgently and hope to have an update around this soon.
The EKCCI would like to thank Melissa Price MP for advocating in Parliament recently for our deed variation request to extend the designated area to include the broader Kimberley and further help with labour shortages in our area.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/clip/UgkxS_duSg_SXmiNEXTngHvoYzI6ZQrSn8Z_
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The EKCCI is proud to have officially launched the EK DAMA on 26th April 2022. There has already been significant interest and the first EK DAMA request for endorsement has been submitted.
The face-to-face EK DAMA information sessions following the launch were well-attended. Stay tuned for more online EK DAMA employer information sessions in coming weeks! For registered migration agents, note there will be a EK DAMA Information Session for migration agents only on 11th May at 2pm. To register follow this link.
The EKCCI has also been advised that VETASSESS has now been confirmed as the skill assessing authority for the remaining occupations in the EK DAMA Occupation and Concessions List. The list has now been updated in the EK DAMA webpages to reflect this. The VETASSESS EK DAMA information will be available in the VETASSESS website shortly, at this link.
The East Kimberley now has a new Designated Area Migration Agreement in place (EK DAMA). The East Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EKCCI) has just co-signed the agreement with the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, bringing the five-year agreement into operation from 29 March 2022.
“Researching and developing the EK DAMA business case and negotiating the agreement was an intensive process but well worth the effort”, said EKCCI President Amanda McLean. “The EK DAMA will help better position employers in our remote region to source skilled and semi-skilled workers needed to fill our many skill shortages. We are always about employment for Australians first but the reality is that this is not always possible.”
The new EK DAMA includes over 100 occupations identified as affected by skill shortages, many that are not accessible outside the EK DAMA. Employers in the region now have a mechanism to source overseas workers against a tailor-made occupation list, with clear pathways to permanent resident and a range of concessions that will help to attract and retain the right people. With an increased ability to restore their core workforce, employers will be better positioned to employ Australians in the longer-term as well.
“The EKCCI would like to thank all of those involved in the long road to securing this landmark agreement for our region, including local Federal member, the Hon Melissa Price MP, key industry bodies and stakeholders in our region, and of course the many employers themselves who responded to surveys and provided background regarding their skill shortages and the impact of not being able to address them”, said EKCCI Executive Officer, Clare Smith.
From today, employers will be able to access the public information, instructions and forms about how to request endorsement to access the EK DAMA. This will be available in the EK DAMA portal in the EKCCI website. Request for Endorsement are immediately open for submission.
The EKCCI will soon be hosting EK DAMA information sessions for employers and for registered migration agents (online). Interested employers and agents may also sign up via the website for automatic EK DAMA updates.