A DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) is an official labour agreement. It is an agreement entered into by the Government of Australia, and other authorities-regional, territory or state.
DAMAs offer more flexibility to regions to react to labour demands created due to economic and market situations.
DAMA has two tiers:
  • The first, which is an all-encompassing five-year head agreement with the representative of the region.
  • The second, which includes separate agreements with endorsed employers in the region.
A DAMA agreement:
  • is usually valid for a period of five years.
  • uses the TSS (Temporary Skills Shortage) and ENS (Employer Nominated Scheme) visa programs.
  • Employers have to get endorsed by the DAR (Designated Area Representative) before they can lodge a labour agreement request. Once that happens, employers can sponsor skilled/semi-skilled overseas workers under the DAMA framework. DAMAs make sure that such employers hire Australian citizens/Permanent Residents as the first priority. If the positions cannot be filled locally, employers can sponsor overseas workers.
  • Individuals have to be sponsored by an employer for an occupation. The employer needs to be functioning in the designated region for an occupation that has been mentioned in the head agreement.
Current DAMAs

Currently, the following active DAMAs are in place:

  • Northern Territory
  • The Goldfields, Western Australia
  • Great South Coast
  • Adelaide City and Regional South Australia
  • Orana, New South Wales
  • Far North Queensland

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