Media Release Shire works to bring DAMA Scheme to Town

Published on Tuesday, 6 February 2024 at 1:33:35 PM

Media Release

For Immediate Release
6 February 2024


Shire works to bring DAMA Scheme to Town

The Shire of East Pilbara has worked with the Federal Government, RDA Pilbara and the Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry to successfully bring the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) Scheme to the region.

A Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and a regional, state or territory authority. It provides 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.

Shire President Anthony Middelton said, “Previously the Shire was not in the authorised area for the Pilbara DAMA. Business owners have consistently spoken with us about the need to fill positions and difficulties being experienced throughout the Shire of East Pilbara.”

“The CEO and team have worked closely with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry and government on this issue, advocating for the DAMA scheme to be applicable in our region.”

“We are now working on the official launch of the program which will take place in March 2024.”

“This is a massive step forward in addressing the worker shortage.”

“And to anybody who is looking for work throughout Australia I encourage you to look no further – we have jobs, we have opportunities and we have fantastic incentives to work within the East Pilbara.”

‚ÄčThe Hon. Andrew Giles MP has approved the Request for Variation to the Pilbara DAMA, including the expansion to the Shire of East Pilbara, and an additional 69 occupations. The DAMA will contain a range of occupations as well as agreed terms and concessions to skilled visa eligibility criteria, as negotiated between parties. Once a DAMA head agreement is established, businesses in the region may seek individual DAMA labour agreements under the head agreement terms and concessions.

DAMAs ensure employers recruit Australian citizens and permanent residents as a first priority. Among other things, employers must demonstrate a genuine attempt to recruit Australians prior to getting access to a DAMA labour agreement.

There are 135 occupations which are eligible for sponsorship under the Pilbara DAMA. The additional occupations approved in January 2024, include ANZSCO occupations in the following fields:

  • Community and Personal Service Workers
  • Agriculture/Pastoral/Horticulture
  • Child Care
  • Health Professionals
  • Technicians and Trades Workers
  • Clerical and Administrative Workers
  • Machinery Operators and Drivers
  • Labourers




A DAMA is a framework covering a defined regional area. DAMA  agreements are between the Australian Government and a Designated Area Representative (DAR), which is either a state or territory governments or regional bodies such as Chambers of Commerce, Regional Development Australia offices, or Shire Councils.

Employers must seek and gain endorsement from the DAR before lodging a labour agreement request online through ImmiAccount. The online form in ImmiAccount outlines the requirements and supporting documentation required for labour agreement requests.

Where a DAMA labour agreement is approved, the business will be able to nominate and sponsor‚Äč skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for certain occupations (each DAMA head agreement covers a specified range of occupations).

View the full list of approved workers: Occupation List.

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