How Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) Will Help Flourishing Townsville’s Economy?

As per the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, the DAMA will attract and settle more skilled workers in Townsville and the North Queensland region and help effectively handle the economic challenges.


The Townsville DAMA includes desirable occupations (195 occupations to be exact) from a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care and social support, transportation, and professional, scientific, and technical services. Access to these jobs allows local firms to be more flexible and responsive to existing labor shortages.


Businesses across sectors, including hospitality, manufacturing, and other trades, have been facing challenges in finding staff, and the DAMA will help meet their needs. However, to access DAMA, businesses have to show that they have tried to hire locals but have not succeeded.


The Designated Area Migration Agreement is projected to fill approximately 3,000 vacant positions in North Queensland. The agreement allows migrant workers to bring their immediate families, have access to PR, and become part of the community.


The government is committed to boosting the economy across regional Australia, and Townsville's agreement is part of it. Other DAMA locations include Goldfields, Northern Territory DAMA, South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement, Adelaide City Technology and Innovation Advancement Agreement, Far North Queensland DAMA, Orana DAMA (TBA), and Great South Coast DAMA.


What’s there to know about DAMA?

What’s there to know about DAMA?

Migration-Agreement Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) is between the Department of Home Affairs and certain regional areas, allowing businesses in the region to benefit from employer-sponsored visa management.


DAMA intends to make the designated area more accessible to a wide range of occupations. Employers can sponsor migrant workers under the TSS Visa 482 and 186 visa streams under the DAMA labor agreement.


In addition, skilled and semi-skilled workers in occupations excluded from the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) may be able to work and live in Australia through the DAMA program. Requirements under DAMAs are always tailored depending on the occupation a worker will be sponsored under. Once the business is under DAMA, it will be opened to a broader range of potential skilled occupations to sponsor.


How’s the Economic Landscape of Townsville?


In late 2020, the North Queensland economy began to gain traction. Regional unemployment has declined slightly, while building permissions in Townsville have increased considerably in recent months, albeit from a very low base.


Townsville's economy is broad, with important industries like retail trade, health and education services, government administration and defense, building, mining, manufacturing, and property and business services.


The newest honor for Townsville comes after the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) named the city one of the SMART21 communities of 2021. The prize considered factors such as digital equality, air space provision, air quality, sustainability programmes, and internet connectivity.


What’s the Employment Rate in Townsville?


In March 2023, the number of employed people in Townsville SA4 was 131,300, a rise of 9,700, or 8.0%, over the previous year.


In March 2023, the unemployment rate in Townsville SA4 was 2.2 percent, a 1.3 percentage point reduction from the previous year.


In March 2023, the unemployment rate in Townsville SA4 was 2.2 percent, a 1.3 percentage point reduction from the previous year. This area had the second-lowest unemployment rate of any of Queensland's 19 SA4s.


In March 2023, the participation rate in Townsville SA4 was 70.2 percent, up 3.0 percentage points


from the previous year.


What benefits will DAMA bring forth for Townsville?


The DAMA does more than just bring in more staff to help the region's business owners. The DAMA agreement is designed so that when workers come here, they can bring members of their families and have access to PR.


DAMA addresses enable firms to sponsor qualified migrant workers who hold in-demand talents. As a result, luring skilled employees to fields with labor shortages.


DAMA deployment does not replace local labor; rather, it may create more job opportunities for communities. As businesses grow, they increase demand for additional services, suppliers, and enterprises that serve the growing population, increasing both job possibilities and investment.


DAMA not only tackles labor shortages, but it also contributes to the local community's diversity and liveliness. When skilled migrants and their families relocate to Townsville, they bring with them a variety of perspectives, cultural backgrounds, and experiences.


How to apply for a visa under the DAMA Program?

How to apply for a visa under the DAMA Program?

The DAMA visa application process involves only four steps. However, it may alter depending on the jurisdiction.


The Process


Step 1: The sponsoring company must apply to the specified area organization, such as the Northern Territory Department of Trade, Business, and Innovation "DBTI," to have the labor agreement endorsed.

Step 2: The sponsoring business needs to apply for a labor agreement with the Department of Home Affairs.

Step 3: The sponsoring business applies to the Department of Home Affairs for nominating an individual worker under the labor agreement.

Step 4: The skilled or semi-skilled worker applies for a TSS 482 visa under the labor agreement stream.




Townsville will gain from increased access to skilled workers as a result of the historic Townsville Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA).  The Australian Government, according to Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke, is committed to the prosperity of Townsville and the North Queensland region.


According to Minister Hawke, the DAMA agreement responds to regional economic concerns by allowing more trained workers to enter and reside in the region.


If you wish to work and reside in Australia as a skilled migrant and need expert guidance, PFEC Global can assist you.


With over a decade of experience in the education and migration counseling industries, we give comprehensive solutions to candidates and remain by their side throughout the process. For additional information, please contact us at 0423 311 259.


Please reach out to us at +610396201773 (Melbourne), +610283784282 (Sydney), +610870992258 (Adelaide) for more details.


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If you have any queries, please drop us a message by filling out the form. We will connect you with an advisor as soon as possible!

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