Agri­cul­ture jobs boom in re­gion

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

LABOUR fig­ures re­leased by the Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Sta­tis­tics show the Wide Bay is re­spon­si­ble for the largest level of agri­cul­tural em­ploy­ment in Queens­land.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics based on data from Novem­ber 2016, Wide Bay em­ploys 20.68% of Queens­land’s agri­cul­tural em­ploy­ees, with 11,500 ru­ral em­ploy­ees.

The sec­ond high­est re­sults were from Fitzroy and Cairns.

Wide Bay’s agri­cul­tural em­ploy­ment lev­els have in­creased by 15% in the past year.

Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage said the area’s high level of pro­duc­tion was a fac­tor.

“The Wide Bay re­gion has seen con­sid­er­able growth in the tra­di­tion­ally labour­in­ten­sive hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­tries,” Mr Ar­mitage said.

“The re­gion now pro­duces 75% of Aus­tralia’s sweet pota­toes.

“Melon pro­duc­tion has also seen strong growth.”

Mr Ar­mitage said growth could po­ten­tially in­crease in the next year.

“It is a great time to be in­volved in agri­cul­ture,” he said.

“Qual­ity Queens­land prod­ucts are in high demand and con­fi­dence among farm­ers in many in­dus­tries re­mains high fol­low­ing some en­cour­ag­ing re­cent rain, a rea­son­able sea­sonal out­look and strong prices for a num­ber of com­modi­ties.”

PHOTO: JAY CRO­NAN

Ag work­ers are in high demand.

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