Friday, 21 September 2018 08:55

Australia looks at agricultural visa

Written by 
National Farmers Federation Australia president Fiona Simson. National Farmers Federation Australia president Fiona Simson.

Australian farmers are throwing their support behind a proposed agricultural visa, which the Government could soon introduce to ease the worker shortage on farms.

Industry puts the shortfall at about 100,000 sector-wide.

National Farmers Federation Australia president Fiona Simson says the nation’s summer fruit harvest is again under threat.

“Our peaches, nectarines, mangos and cherries are almost ripe for picking,” says Simson. “Unfortunately, again this season, growers will struggle to hire the workers they need to pick the fruits of their labour.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has been a vocal advocate for new visa categories since he took office in December.

“This has been a priority of mine since becoming the ag minister,” Littleproud said. “I [want] it this season as I promised and I’m confident I’m close, in consultation with immigration and workforce ministers.”

Simson says farmers are buoyed by Littleproud’s support for a visa, to “cater specifically for the acute skill shortages facing agriculture, including fruit pickers and packers. Our sector already relies heavily on migrant labour”.

She says the industry is keen to develop a domestic labour force but this alone is not the answer.

“Research and experience demonstrates that we need migrant workers to meet the farm sector’s needs.

“Many agricultural tasks are short-term and/or seasonal.

 

More like this

Dwarf breeds impress

Good things often come in smaller packages and it may soon be true for dairy farmers.

Dealing with climate change

New Zealand is heading towards much warmer summers by the end of the century, along with more extremes in terms of heatwaves and short deluges.

Milk levy plan turns sour

Moves by an Australian supermarket chain to introduce a milk levy to help drought-stricken farmers has backfired.

Fake milk in Aussie

A new audit of plant-based milk alternatives in Australia shows the category has grown by 58% in several products in two years, but health professionals are alerting Australians that not all ‘mylks’ are nutritionally equal.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fire sales?

Your canine crusader hears that Fonterra’s current financial woes could see the dairy co-op dumping many of its key assets.

Boring

This old mutt has been a long-time critic of the multi-national, tax-dodging, political activist group Greenpeace for its sustained and…

 
 

» Connect with Rural News