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Producing, picking and packing is a $70 million industry in Northern Territory

The Territory’s melon industry contributes to more than 20 percent of Australia’s production. Around 75,000 tons of melons are due to be picked locally in the coming months. The sweet melon industry includes rockmelon, watermelon and honey dew melons with a number of farms spread between the Big Rivers region through to Central Australia.

The efforts to support the melon industry by the Northern Territory government are also bearing fruit, with overseas workers arriving in the regions ahead of harvest season. Some 650 workers are involved in picking, packing, sorting and logistics each harvest. Just under 20 workers have arrived from Timor Leste this month, with around 40 more due to touch down in April under the Australian Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme.

The Territory government has also worked to ensure the inclusion of 24 new occupations in the Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA), which includes lower skilled workers for the agriculture and aquaculture sector.


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