The Australian government has made another adaptation to temporary visas, trying to combat agricultural labour shortages. Now, student visa holders will be allowed to work more than the usual 40 hours per fortnight limit during semesters, if they are working in the agricultural sector.
This is another attempt to alleviate labour pressure, as the industry is still struggling to fill an estimated 26,000 jobs, despite the government offering $6000 relocation packages and streamlined access to Youth Allowance for students.
The state governments have criticised the Commonwealth for not doing enough to prevent the crisis. However, the federal government says it has pre-vetted 22,000 Pacific Island workers and it was up to the state governments' to organise their quarantining arrangements.
According to northqueenslandregister.com.au, the agriculture industry has called for both parties to stop finger pointing and work together, before the nation is hit with increased fruit and vegetable prices, along with potential shortages as crops rot in the ground.