Subject: East Timor wants guest workers in Australia

East Timor wants guest workers in Australia

Sara Everingham, ABC

June 21, 2010, 4:29 pm

East Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta says Australia seems reluctant to accept East Timorese guest workers to fill labour shortages.

Dr Ramos-Horta was speaking on a stopover in Darwin this morning on the first day of his week-long trip to Australia.

Two years ago, East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao unsuccessfully asked the Australian Government to include East Timor in its guest worker scheme.

Dr Ramos-Horta says other countries such as the United Kingdom and South Korea have taken a large number of workers form East Timor.

"I would like to see finally Australia at least open slightly the doors for East Timorese guest workers - something I have been talking about ad nauseam for the past six, seven years, without major success."

Dr Ramos-Horta says Australia and East Timor are very friendly neighbours.

He says he is pleased AusAid is reviewing the way it delivers aid to make it more effective. "Particularly targeting rural poverty, rural roads and sanitation so that the money for every dollar Australian taxpayers deliver to Timor Leste helps communities in need in Timor Leste."

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