Debate on ag visa still ongoing
❝can’t You just change legislation, you can’t just put visas in overnight. — Michael McCormack
CABINET ministers are still debating the merits of an agriculture workers visa, despite the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s admission that the summer harvest season is “fast upon us”.
Mr McCormack told a Rural Press Club forum in Melbourne that cabinet discussions over the visas remained “ongoing”.
“These sorts of things take cabinet processes; you can’t just change legislation, you can’t just put visas in overnight,” he said.
“We have obviously made it front and centre, because obviously the season is fast upon us. We will continue to discuss it at future cabinet meetings.
“It is one of those things which we realise has to be thought properly through.”
Mr McCormack told the gathering the needs of South Pacific Islander workers should also not be jeopardised under any new visa system.
“We will get the necessary workforce in … our fruit will be picked, our crops will be harvested.”
Mr McCormack said developing the visa was Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s responsibility and he had “every faith that he will be able to do it”.
During his address to the Rural Press Club, Mr McCormack urged the media to report positive stories of farmers.