Fruit picker reck­ons he’s got a juicy lit­tle job

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

CITRUS picker Ian Hin­dle thinks he has the best job go­ing.

Orig­i­nally from Tweed Heads, Mr Hin­dle has been on the fruit-pick­ing cir­cuit for 14 years – pick­ing citrus in Gayn­dah, straw­ber­ries in Ca­bool­ture, and cher­ries in Young.

“Peace, quiet and be­ing left alone (and) out of the city (are the joys of the pick­ing life),” he said.

He has his citrus pick­ing tools: clip­pers, gloves, bag and hat.

Pick­ing was sim­ple, pro­vided you “don’t snip the tops (and) don’t leave long stems”, he ex­plained, work­ing hard to fill four bins a day.

The reg­u­lar worker at River­ton Citrus, will work the en­tire sea­son there – start­ing with the lemons and Im­pe­rial man­darins in late De­cem­ber through to the end of the Mur­cott sea­son in Au­gust.

The most no­tice­able change at River­ton Citrus this year was the change in the com­mu­nity of pick­ers, Mr Hin­dle said.

About 95% of this year’s pick­ers were con­tract work­ers, mostly Korean and Tai­wanese.

A re­cent in­crease in theft and in­con­sis­tency had led to the de­ci­sion, and “for less pa­per­work, it’s a great thing”, River­ton Citrus owner Narelle Em­mer­ton said.

Trust­wor­thy reg­u­lars like Mr Hin­dle con­tin­ued to be em­ployed, she said.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

PICK OF THE CROP: Fruit picker Ian Hin­dle demon­strates how to pick man­darins: "Don't snip the tops; don't leave long stems" .

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