Harvest worker relief for Victorian fruit growers

Victorian fruit growers are today one step closer to addressing the critical harvest worker shortfall, following the Victorian government’s announcement of a quarantine pathway for an additional 1,500 Pacific workers.

The workforce boost has been made possible following an agreement between the Victorian and Tasmanian governments to quarantine Pacific workers in Tasmania before their employment on Victorian farms. The Victorian government will provide $5,300 to cover the cost of bringing each worker to farm. Fruit Growers Victoria Ltd Chairman Mitch McNab thanked the Victorian government for prioritising this
inbound travel.

“With so many Australians still looking to return home, we understand how sensitive the issue of inbound travel is, and don’t underestimate the political and logistical impediments to making this happen. This is another step in avoiding a harvest disaster for our growers and the prospect of fruit being left unpicked.”

McNab also emphasised the need to keep progressing efforts to open up a pathway for backpackers and those entering under a dedicated ag visa.

“Our growers are going to need labour from all parts of the globe to work in our industries for the foreseeable future, despite what the government says about building a local workforce. We’re calling on the governments at State and Federal level to keep looking at sustainable workforce solutions for the years to come, and we stand ready to assist with these important policy discussions.”

For more information:
Mitchell McNab
Fruit Growers Victoria
Tel.: +61 0427 168 901

Michael Crisera
Tel.: +61 0427 239 87

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