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Thanks Varun for this highly informative and first-hand experience of surviving Covid-19 in Wuhan, the epicentre of this epidemic. There are many lessons for all of us from your experience: one that stands out for me is that staying put and persevering can pay handsome dividends. You have this knack that many of us sorely lack!
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Hi Amanda, Thank you for your comments. Firstly, the majority of SWP workers have had their visas renewed with the assistance of their Approved Employers (AE). Most that have had lapsed visas are those who have left their SWP AE. Yes workers can check on DESE's website where there is a list of current SWP AEs. There is also a hotline for SWP workers to call with any problems or questions. However, I am unsure how well used this is by workers.
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Thank you for this interesting piece. You mentioned 'workers who have let their visas lapse'. Could you please explain this a bit more? Have their visas lapsed because they cannot return home due to pandemic travel restrictions? I also have a question about how workers can check whether a potential employer is an 'Approved Employer'. Is there a way that workers can check that? A website where they are listed or a call centre that they can ring for advice? Thanks again, Amanda
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It's interesting to note from the photo of the destruction in Epau village. The modern housing was blown away while the traditional bamboo walls with thatched roofing remains standing. As always the case in the Pacific, the communities are always picking up the pieces and will rebuild on their own after all the fly by experts returned.
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Even some of the statistics provided are relevant much of the discussion are irrelevant on figures stated
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Surely it will now make a big difference that the government takes over the helm as the sole country's agent & sub employer in terms of revenue generation & collection be alike compared to previous years since the establishment of RSE / SWP. More so the governments direct ownership intervention ensuring public interests are safeguarded & protected respective based upon agreements signed between the two governments, namely; New Zealand & Australia. Interesting the monitor and measure as well as other related employment development issues (etc)…interesting the trend difference benefits long term ?
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Yes Dan, I agree with you the confusion over the visas has further complicated the issue. These contractors/employers are actively targeting SWP workers through various means and falsely coming across as approved employers in the scheme. They are approaching workers in their local host communities, and I have seen several posts by these rogue contractors advertising jobs on seasonal worker social media sites. It is vital we get the messaging out there to employers and workers to create awareness of this.
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What is staggering is that many absconders are lured into running to dodgy contractors and NO ONE seems to know that they cannot do so on a 408 or 403 visa. Furthermore, they think a Bridging Visa is their final visa but this is not active while they hold their 408 or 403. In some cases rogue contractors and their middlemen are enticing these workers across with promises of more pay. Those contractors are breaking the law as well as the worker breaching the work limitation of their visas Then they don't often pay tax or super. The alarming thing is that some people who do abscond are actively encouraged to apply for asylum and get assistance to do so. Isn't that IMMIGRATION FRAUD?
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Thank you, Amanda for capturing what is happening now in Papua New Guinea and especially in my home and Community Basamuk in regards to SIM Card Deactivation. Well stated as most people around Basamuk Area registered their SIM cards with the help of Nigel Uyam. Instead of traveling in Madang Town for SIM Card registration, Nigel Uyam did that in the Village both Digicel and Telkom SIM cards.
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On patronage, Terence Wood has done some good work on voter clientelism: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/app5.239 Pact or government formation process have been covered extensively by Michael Kabuni and Bal Kama: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327620367_Explaining_the_Paradox_of_Party_Instability_and_Political_Stability_in_Papua_New_Guinea_2012-2017 https://interactives.lowyinstitute.org/archive/png-in-2017/png-in-2017-png-political-condition-to-2025.html On policy processes: the nomination fee is K1,000, still lower than the roughly K5,200 non-resource GDP per capita in 2017, which means that more people intending to run as candidates is possible. Former O'Neill government proposed an increase to K10,000 but failed to pass this amendment in Parliament. Perhaps the weakest part of candidate nomination requirements relates to having not committed a disciplinary/criminal offense in the past 9 months - any former crook with the means can contest the elections, increasing corruption levels. Also, reforms to the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates (OLIPPAC) in 2003 (imposing more stringent requirements on political party registration) seems to have kept party numbers steady at 43.
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