In 2008 the Australian government announced a new labour mobility scheme for Pacific workers, with the objectives of meeting seasonal demand for low-skilled labour in the horticulture industry and promoting economic development in Pacific Island countries. Modelled on New Zealand's Recognized Seasonal Employer scheme, it is a significant departure from Australia's long-standing preference for permanent migration that is non-discriminatory with respect to the country of origin. Any temporary migration program that draws a workforce from developing countries has the potential to exploit vulnerable foreign workers, but if Australia's pilot program is to be a success in the long term, it is imperative that seasonal workers from the Pacific are not exposed to that danger. This article examines the many layers of regulation that have been introduced to protect Pacific workers from exploitation, including bilateral intergovernmental agreements, supervision by government departments and use of external advisory bodies. In addition, Australia's regulatory framework governing workplace relations imposes a range of worker protections through equality laws, occupational health and safety principles, dispute settlement procedures and trade union involvement. To date, the Australian scheme has provided very limited opportunities for Pacific workers. This raises concerns about the long-term viability of this highly regulated scheme and the capacity to move beyond a pilot program to provide sustained opportunities for both Pacific workers and the horticulture industry.