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

Sino-Aus trade spat worsens

New Zealand should be carefully watching the unfolding trade war between Australia and China, says trade expert Stephen Jacobi.

Featured

Awards help winners’ fine tune

Newly-crowned Share Farmers of the Year Sarah and Aidan Stevenson are looking forward to their leadership roles over the next 12 months.

 

Living the dream on farm

DairyNZ board candidate Cole Groves says he is “living the dream” as a dairy farmer, milking just over 400 cows near Hinds in Mid-Canterbury.

National

Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bully boys?

OPINION: This old mutt hears that there is some discontent in the wool sector at the tactics being used by the…

Tacky!

OPINION: Your canine crusader, like many in the rural sector, was deeply distressed to hear the tragic news that a…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter