Work help to farm­ers in the NT

NT News - - NEWS -

DOLE bludgers who refuse to work for farm­ers des­per­ate for help face los­ing their wel­fare un­der a tough Mor­ri­son Gov­ern­ment plan to stop fruit and veg­eta­bles rot­ting on vines.

In­stead of cre­at­ing a new agri­cul­ture visa to para­chute over­seas work­ers on to farms for the up­com­ing crit­i­cal sea­son, the Gov­ern­ment will de­mand the unemployed should take avail­able jobs first.

Ter­ri­tory farm­ers, along with those in Queens­land and South Aus­tralia have com­plained they can­not find staff, mean­ing some are pre­par­ing to watch pro­duce rot.

Un­der a re­cent de­ci­sion, ticked-off by the Gov­ern­ment’s Ex­pen­di­ture Re­view Com­mit­tee, farm­ers will be asked to reg­is­ter their job re­quire­ments, pay and con­di­tions with the Na­tional Har­vest Labour In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice.

Job providers will try to get lo­cal unemployed into those farms.

If a per­son does not have an ac­cept­able rea­son for re­fus­ing a farm job, they face los­ing one month of wel­fare pay­ments, pos­si­bly more.

The Gov­ern­ment is also look­ing at fur­ther op­tions if farm­ers need a big­ger work­force, in­clud­ing changes to the Sea­sonal Worker Pro­gram, Pa­cific Labour Scheme and Work­ing Hol­i­day Maker visas.

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