Duncan Kerr has indicated his government would expect some commitment, to Australia's development aims in the region.
"Labour mobility in the Pacific cannot be considered in isolation from other initiatives being taken bilaterally and through the Pacific Island Forum," he said.
Which means is that you sign up to our regional and bi-lateral deals, or else no slave labour for you.
and yes he got to hear strong dissent to this agenda in our region.
Speaking in Melbourne, the Secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches, Fei' Tevi has called on Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government not to force small island nations to sign up to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, or PACER Plus, as a condition for being included in an unskilled worker scheme.
As the Pacific forum nears, its use as a vehicle for neo liberalism in the Pacific becomes clear, kinda like our Pacific version of apec/g20 etc, meetings of political elites, and bureaucrats & tnc's. Meetings with security over kill, making decisions that effect hundreds of thousands with NO input from the peoples that they purport to represent.
With Feleti Teo , Neroni Slade, and Cook Islands foreign minister, Wilkie Rassmussen are all vying for the General Secretary role within the South Pacific forum. Rassmussen is strongly pro Pacific and has been critical the onslaught of globalisation in our region, but more than likely the role will go the a puppet, again.