The welfare of Fijians going for overseas working schemes was raised during a Talanoa session with the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Tailevu yesterday.
Nakelo District representative Luke Rokovada raised queries based on the welfare of workers, especially those that lost their lives during their contract duration.
Rokovada claims Fijians working under the National Employment Centre agreements should be looked after, including those who lost their lives during their employment overseas.
“The government should identify a pathway to help Fijians who lost their lives while working in Australia or New Zealand under the NEC initiative. This is in terms of funding repatriation.”
The Ministry of Economy’s Head of Budget and Planning, Ratu Isoa Rokowasadromu says talks are ongoing with the Australian government regarding the issue.
“The Ministry has highlighted the issue raised by the District representative and discussions are ongoing so hopefully the Australian government will soon announce a bit of change in the policies in place.”
Rokowasadromu says they are also reviewing their policies based on the experience of workers.
Two workers have died this year while on their contracts under the PALM and seasonal workers scheme.
The most recent case was of the late Vitorina Bruce, who was stabbed to death in a hotel last Sunday.
Bruce’s family is currently raising funds through a GoFundMe page to bring her body home for burial.