Latest News

» Latest news » Peter Walsh MP

Victorian growers need thousands not hundreds of workers to meet workforce demand

An extended seasonal worker deal with Tasmania will finally deliver workers into Victoria, but it will do little to fill the yawning shortage of pickers across the state.

By news@gippsland - 14th October 2021 - Back to News

Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas confirmed today 200 additional workers are finally set to arrive after quarantining through the Apple Isle, but it comes too little too late for growers already in the thick of harvest or planning for next season.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said farmers were desperate to avoid a repeat of last season, where millions of dollars of produce had to be ploughed into the ground or left on the trees to rot.

Victorias farmers need more workers to help with this seasons harvest regional areas will find it hard to carry on next year with the current conditions, any further delays with workforce will risk the products of the farm growers

Victorias farmers need more workers to help with this seasons harvest regional areas will find it hard to carry on next year with the current conditions, any further delays with workforce will risk the products of the farm growers

Workforce shortage had spread

Mr Walsh said, "Victorias bureaucratic hold ups that made it impossible to get labour into the state left too many growers short last year, unable to get the workforce they needed to get produce off the trees and out of the ground in time. Any further delays risk produce that would usually stock our supermarket shelves not being picked, and leave consumers facing shortages at the busy Christmas period.

"This year, the workforce shortages have spread through the sector, with cropping farmers struggling to find harvest operators and not enough shearers available to meet demand from our wool producers. Last year it was estimated 15,000 to 20,000 workers were needed in horticulture alone, theyll need the same this year if not more." Mr Walsh continued.

Labor arrogantly refused to adopt

In north west Victoria, demand for workers is so high that a single orchardist could take all 200 workers that the Andrews Labor Government is patting itself on the back for delivering let alone it makes a dent in the shortage facing the entire sector.

"The Andrews Labor Government had 18 months to find a long-term solution, but our growers are facing the same shortages again this season because Mary-Anne Thomas is missing-in-action and failing to make any genuine progress," Mr Walsh said.

"Its disappointing the Andrews Labor Government arrogantly refused to adopt industrys proposal for a dedicated quarantine facility at Mildura, which was backed by the Commonwealth. If theyd picked up on it, it would have delivered 200 workers every two weeks since December. Victoria needs a better pathway, a more secure pathway, that will deliver a larger pool of workers to meet demand." Mr Walsh said.

Pictures from Agriculture Victoria Facebook page.


Source: www.gippsland.com

Published by: news@gippsland.com



If you are the author of this story you can edit it by clicking here


Related Articles

 

 

 

 

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2021 gippsland.com Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, Gippsland.com does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.