On Wednesday, some 170 workers from the island group of Vanatu were due to travel to Darwin, heading the request for labourers for the mango harvest. The program was co-ordinated by Australia's government. The Vanuatu government greenlighted the pilot programme on Monday, after weeks of apparent reluctance.
Unfortunately, according to opposition MP and seasonal work agent John Salong, the workers arrived at the airport yesterday only to be told they would have to wait a few more days.
"The Vanuatu government has not been exactly forthcoming in communication around everything. So, everyone's basically having to guess a little bit. We don't really know," Salong said.
Most seasonal work in the Pacific has stopped since Australia and New Zealand closed their borders because of the Covid-19 pandemic - drying up an important stream of revenue for island nations.