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South West DAMA Labour Market survey

By February 21, 2024February 29th, 2024Industry News & Updates


The South West DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) is a special migration program which assists businesses operating within the South West to access a broader range of occupations as well as concessions not generally available through the standard skilled visa programs.

As part of the DAMA, shortages in skilled labour in the South-West continue to be assessed, and a survey is currently open inviting local businesses to identify their skilled labour shortages: MRBTA members facing skilled labour shortages are encouraged to participate in the survey.

Complete Survey

For more information about the South West DAMA, visit the Shire of Dardanup’s website, or contact the Shire via [email protected] / 08 9724 0000


Image top: Dylan Alcock Photography courtesy of

More about the South West DAMA (Source: Shire of Dardanup)

DAMA Overview

The South-West region has entered into a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) with the Commonwealth as a way to address the current skills shortages affecting the region.

The South West DAMA was signed in December 2021 (read Media Release) and took effect from January 2022. It is accessible for businesses operating within the designated South-West region that have advertised but been unable to source skilled workers locally to fill nominated positions within their workforce. Under the terms of a DAMA, businesses operating within the South-West area may be able to access a broader range of occupations as well as concessions not generally available through the standard skilled visa programs.

Employers who have an interest in accessing the DAMA are required to first submit an application to the Shire of Dardanup, who are the appointed Designated Area Representative (DAR) for the South-West DAMA. A positive endorsement then allows you to request a Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs.

Businesses operating within the following local government areas will be eligible to apply for endorsement to access the DAMA and apply for a South-West DAMA Labour Agreement with the Department of Home Affairs:

  • City of Bunbury
  • City of Busselton
  • Shire of Augusta Margaret River
  • Shire of Boyup Brook
  • Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes
  • Shire of Capel
  • Shire of Collie
  • Shire of Dardanup
  • Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup
  • Shire of Harvey
  • Shire of Manjimup
  • Shire of Nannup


While priority will always be offered to Australian workers first, there is currently a skills shortage being experienced in the South-West region and employer-sponsored workers from overseas can be an avenue to addressing these shortages.

The South-West DAMA exists to provide businesses in South-West region with a mechanism to address its current workforce shortages and to support future workforce planning. It allows employers to access a wider range of occupations, as well as concessions for those employers who are unable to find a suitably qualified Australian to fill a role within their company. As the overseas worker is being sponsored through a Labour Agreement, it ensures the terms and conditions a prospective applicant receives are no less favourable than those provided to Australian workers, providing protection for both employers and employees.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) conducted a Business Confidence Survey to find out the concerns towards the growth of Western Australian (WA) businesses. Skills shortages was the greatest concern for most of WA businesses.

As reported by the CCIWA, 31% of businesses identified skilled labour shortages as one of the largest barriers towards the growth of the business over the coming years. Skills shortages outweighed other issues as the top barrier to growth.

Furthermore, the promotion and training of Australians by employers entering into a Labour Agreement is sustained by the inclusion of the Skilling Australians Fund levy.