Improving access to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme

The Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme allows eligible Australian businesses to hire workers from 9 Pacific islands and Timor-Leste when there are not enough local workers available.

Through the PALM scheme, eligible businesses can recruit workers for short-term jobs for up to 9 months or long-term roles for between one and 4 years in unskilled, low-skilled and semi-skilled positions.

The PALM scheme helps to fill labour gaps in rural and regional Australia and nationally for agriculture and select agriculture-related food product manufacturing sectors by offering employers access to a pool of reliable, productive workers. It also allows Pacific and Timor-Leste workers to take up jobs in Australia, develop their skills and send income home.

RDAMNC is continuing to engage with organisations who can assist Norfolk Island gain greater access to this scheme. More information will be made available in due course.

To learn more about the scheme, please refer to the PALM Scheme website.

Herd Genetics Program

RDAMNC acknowledges that the Norfolk Island community has been working tirelessly to adapt to the new ban on importation of live ruminants. We acknowledge that NI has undertaken – at significant cost – projects to upskill in artificial reproduction, but the projects are not delivering results that are assisting the situation.

RDA MNC and NI is seeking a research partner to assist with the following project objectives:

  1. Design the lowest risk possible protocol for an emergency live animal importation onto Norfolk Island backed by scientific evidence that specifically addresses the following:
    1. Testing regime
    1. Quarantine regime – mainland and Norfolk Island
    1. Potential breeders/commercial suppliers
    1. Cost
  2. Design a testing protocol for Live Embryos which will satisfy the Biosecurity testing requirements for Johnes and Q-Fever (both male and female donors tested) OR a sacrificial embryo testing protocol (and validate the testing of embryos to as satisfactory for testing for Biosecurity purposes)
  3. Provide the live embryos under a commercial arrangement if breeding suitable stock
  4. Assist in investigating the reasons for low success rates from artificial insemination and work with the Norfolk Island community to improve these success rates

RDAMNC will continue to provide updates once we have engaged a research partner.

UPDATE 6/5/2024.

We are very pleased to announce that we have been able to facilitate the introduction of an assisted reproduction program for the cattle on Norfolk Island. We’d like to thank the Hon. Kristy McBain, MP and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communication and the Arts, Breeder Genetics, Norfolk Island Cattle Association and the Norfolk Island Regional Council for making this possible.

A full copy of the media release can be viewed here.

Food System Mapping

A long-term healthy, affordable, and secure food supply for Norfolk Island requires evidence-informed decision tools. At a global scale, there is extensive research progress on methods to assess sustainability of food systems, with more than 30 frameworks available. Core domains usually assessed include social, economic and environmental considerations, while healthiness and affordability of foods and issues such as governance and resilience are less often considered. Trade-offs often need to be considered in local decision making—there are a number of approaches available that provide evidence-based decision-making tools for trade-off analysis, often involving multiple-criteria decision analysis methods using local data.

RDAMNC has engaged QUT to help select and develop the most suitable frameworks that will help the Norfolk Island community in decision making around improved food security on the island. They will be providing expertise in food security and nutritional priority analysis, and expertise in food system sustainability assessment and data-informed decision making.
Through the provision of an evidence-based framework, this project provides a means to facilitate information collection and sharing, engagement and trusted decision making about future priorities for funding and infrastructure that will ultimately seek to improve the health, quality of life and economic sustainability of this remote Australian community.

Country Universities Centre

During the very early stages of the recent Residential Visit on Norfolk Island by RDAMNC CEO, Madeleine Lawler, the repeat challenge of access to vocational education and training and higher education for Norfolk Islanders was raised. The team has initiated a Regional University Study Hub Grant application with the Country University Centre team in order to improve access to post-secondary education on Island.

More information will be shared once this project progresses.

Norfolk Island Local Produce Branding Project

During the Tourism and Wellbeing Business Incubator of 2022, a “made in Norfolk” brand was again raised as a priority to identify the products and produce that has been locally made and grown.

RDAMNC saw the opportunity to work with Saturate, the branding and media agency engaged to undertake the Norfolk Island Destination Marketing project, to ensure that the “made in Norfolk” brand was harmonious and linked to destination marketing.

This will produce an exciting identity for the creations of Norfolk Island, making it easy for tourists to shop locally and support the domestic economy of Norfolk Island.