As Covid travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, the nation’s growers are left desperately short of fruit pickers. That is the main reason Australia’s Northern Territory is offering thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who will travel to the Top End to help harvest the current melon crop.
The $70 million per year NT industry is critical to domestic melon supply, allowing consumers to buy the fruit all year round. Now, the NT government wants Australian workers to fill the shortfall and help harvest the 75,000-ton melon crop. That means that the NT government is offering $1000 per worker for up to 200 workers to pick the fruit, along with $480,000 for bonuses to help businesses retain them.
A bonus of $200 per week will be available for people that work a minimum of 30 hours per week, for at least five weeks between April 12 and July 12.
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