A plane has brought more than 160 South Pacific fruit pickers to the Northern Territory, to harvest mangoes after the COVID-19 crisis stopped many seasonal workers travelling. The workers will complete 14-days' mandatory quarantine at an unused mining camp, near Darwin, before heading to farms to start work.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud: "Australian farmers have had a challenging year, with COVID-19 restrictions placing unprecedented pressure on the supply of workers. This group of workers will help meet critical workforce shortages in the Northern Territory's mango industry over the coming months."
Mangoes are a significant economic driver for many Territory communities, producing almost half the national crop. About 33,000 tonnes of fruit worth over $100 million was picked in 2018-19.