Designated Area Migration Agreement – Great Southern

Is your business looking for staff?

We want to know what skills your business needs now and into the future. This will help support a possible application for a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).

A DAMA is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a regional, state or territory authority to give businesses access to more overseas workers than the standard skilled migration program. DAMAs operate under an agreement-based framework, providing flexibility for regions to respond to their unique economic and labour market conditions. This work is being undertaken by the Great Southern Zone of WALGA in partnership with RDA Great Southern and the Great Southern Development Commission.

RDA Great Southern, as the Designated Area Representative (DAR), will work closely with employers and stakeholders in the Great Southern region to understand their unique labour needs and the broader community views. RDA Great Southern will undertake annual reviews of DAMA terms/operation and also endorse individual requests from businesses seeking access to DAMA arrangements, prior to the business lodging a DAMA labour agreement request with the Department of Home Affairs.

    Skilled Staff Shortages Survey

    To progress to the next step in this process, the RDA Great Southern needs to determine if there is an actual shortage of skilled and semi-skilled labour, that this shortage cannot be filled by Australian residents and that there is evidence provided by industry in their recent employment procurement processes.

    If it is clear that there is a labour shortage in the Great Southern, the next step is to undertake a formal study and business case to support the DAMA application. This will require funding for which many local governments in the Great Southern have pledged ‘in principle’ support.

    If you are currently, have previously, or will possibly experience skilled staff shortages in the future, we urge you to complete the survey. It is open to all industries who have a physical business presence in the Great Southern.

    The survey is now closed.

    Great Southern DAMA one step closer

    Media Release: Friday 17 March 2023.

    Great Southern businesses struggling to fill job vacancies will benefit from a service agreement endorsed today.

    WALGA Great Southern Country Zone has engaged EY Consulting to develop Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) business case to submit to the Department of Home Affairs.

    Under the proposed agreement, Regional Development Australia (RDA) Great Southern will perform the Designated Area Representative (DAR) role in administering the DAMA for a five-year period.

    A DAMA is a formal labour agreement between the Australian Government and a regional authority to provide businesses access to more overseas workers than the standard skilled migration program.

    WALGA Great Southern Country Zone President Chris Pavlovich said the DAR Service agreement was a key step towards alleviating critical labour shortages across the region. “Since the DAMA Working Group was established in August, it has reviewed other West Australian DAMA business cases and canvased businesses to ensure demand exists for occupations not currently included on the skilled immigration visa list,” Cr Pavlovich said. “All 11 local governments in the Great Southern, the Great Southern Development commission (GSDC) and RDA Great Southern have jointly funded the Great Southern DAMA Business Plan for submission to the Department of Home Affairs.” “The formal DAMA application is anticipated to be lodged by July and, if successful will allow local businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers in specific industries that they have been unable to fill by advertising locally for a period of five years. Some of the occupations in demand include agriculture, transport, hospitality, and aged care providers.”

    RDA Great Southern Chief Executive Officer Simon Lyas said the organisation was pleased to contribute to the Great Southern DAMA. “We look forward to providing the required services, including monitoring labour market trends, employer assessments, DAMA application endorsements, reporting and risk management on behalf of the region and reporting to the WALGA Great Southern Country Zone on a quarterly basis,” Mr Lyas said.

    Cr Pavlovich thanked RDA Great Southern, the GSDC and the local governments involved for their ongoing support to establish a DAMA for the region, on behalf of the Zone. “The capacity for local businesses to secure adequate labour going forward will ensure our region continues to grow and prosper,” he said.


    For further information, please contact:

    RDA Great Southern (08) 6820 2800

    Shire of Plantagenet Communications Coordinator (08) 9892 1146