Some 22,000 Pacific Island workers are pre-vetted and ready to take up farm jobs in Australia. Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said national cabinet had agreed to reaffirm and streamline processes to bring in workers under the Pacific Labor Scheme and Seasonal Worker Program.
"The decision for states to formalise bilateral arrangements with the commonwealth on Pacific workers delivers hope for Australian farmers as the peak harvest period approaches," Mr Littleproud said. "I am pleased that all first ministers recognise the importance of the agriculture sector and the need to make sure we have the workers here and ready to pick the fruit. We know there are 22,000 pre-vetted workers from the Pacific available to help with harvest."
As reported on northqueenslandregister.com.au¸Littleproud said since the programs recommenced in August, more than 1000 workers had arrived in Queensland, the Northern Territory, NSW and Tasmania.
It comes as the Queensland government extends its seasonal worker trial until March 4, 2021, which allows on-farm quarantine arrangements for staff from Pacific Island nations with the lowest risk of COVID-19.