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South Australia leads the way to boost farming workforces

South Australia will lead the way on a trial of a pre-travel quarantine pilot for Pacific Workers.

fruit pickers

South Australia will lead the way with a pre-travel quarantine pilot program for Pacific Workers.  Pic: Pexels.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the pilot would expand the available options for farmers to access a productive, reliable and highly valued labour force.

“The Australian Government is determined to make sure the agricultural sector has the workers it needs in the right place at the right time and within the necessary health guidelines,” Minister Littleproud said.

“It has been a challenging year for many farmers who have struggled to get the workers they need through the pandemic.

“This pilot will allow countries such as Vanuatu and Fiji or any other participating country who already run successful quarantine programs, to pre-screen participants in the Seasonal Workers Programme.

“South Australia is leading the way, already indicating it will join.

“The other states need to recognise that the nation's farmers need these workers urgently. There is no excuse for them not to sign up and ensure their farmers will have the workers when they need them.

“They could be part of this win-win pilot which is good for Australian farmers and for Pacific nations who are able to earn vital income during this challenging period.

“I look forward to a successful trial in South Australia that lays the foundation for national confidence.”

The Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme, and related temporary visas, are a successful partnership with Pacific and Timor Leste governments and industry.

They play a critical role in regional economic development and maximising the productivity of Australian farmer.