Fruit pick­ers help fill up Mun­dub­bera’s van park

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Kather­ine Kokko­nen kather­ine.kokko­

THE grey no­mad army is pulling into the North Bur­nett ahead of fruit-pick­ing sea­son.

The stereo­type of the back­packer sea­sonal worker is be­ing quashed with grey no­mads mak­ing the most of pick­ing up work on their trav­els.

Dianne Wright, 58, and her hus­band have made the trek out to Mun­dub­bera from Bund­aberg to work at an or­chard.

Last year, they worked at a cot­ton gin 800km from home and de­cided to come to Mun­dub­bera so they could re­main closer to their fam­ily.

Ms Wright hasn’t worked with fruit or small crops for 18 years, but is cer­tain she will be able to do the phys­i­cal work.

“It’s good to be ac­tive and stay fit,” she said.

“I don’t care if we are out pick­ing or in the shed, it is work and money.

“We get to see a bit of the coun­try­side and Aus­tralia and be­ing here we are closer to our fam­ily.”

Ms Wright and her hus­band plan to be in Mun­dub­bera un­til Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber.

Dur­ing that time they will be liv­ing in their car­a­van, but they are not both­ered about the tight quar­ters.

“You get ac­cli­ma­tised to it, but we tend to trip over each other a bit,” Ms Wright said.

Three Rivers Car­a­van Park in Mun­dub­bera was fully booked over the weekend in the lead-up to their peak sea­son.

Owner Sher­rie Bre­itkopf said they were kept busy with a mix of back­pack­ers, grey no­mads and con­trac­tors fill­ing the park.

“I’ll have to eat two Weeties ev­ery day now, not one,” she joked.

“It was a very busy weekend, it’s good.

“Mun­dub­bera hasn’t started pick­ing yet, but we only have camp­ing sites avail­able now.”

Ms Bre­itkopf said the in­flux of people in the town would ben­e­fit ev­ery­body,

Dianne Wright I don’t care if we are out pick­ing or in the shed...

not just ac­com­mo­da­tion providers.

“They eat and drink and spend money here,” she said.

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