Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

AUS­TRALIA has been strength­ened by waves of im­mi­grants since colo­nial days. Chi­nese men came as farm work­ers in the early 1800s. Be­tween 1900 and 1920, the ma­jor­ity of veg­eta­bles grown in WA were grown by Chi­nese mar­ket gar­den­ers. Afghan cameleers ar­rived in 1840. Ser­vices to out­back com­mu­ni­ties and prop­er­ties de­pended on them. Since then, we have seen Ital­ians, Greeks and Viet­namese develop the land. And a new study by the Ru­ral In­dus­tries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion shows that it is still the case. Re­searcher Jock Collins said im­mi­grants play an im­por­tant role in agri­cul­ture on many lev­els. "South African and Zim­bab­wean farm­ers, for ex­am­ple, have brought wa­ter-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies, while Asian grow­ers have in­tro­duced new prod­ucts for the food mar­ket," he said. "Short-term work­ers are sig­nif­i­cant in fill­ing cycli­cal labour needs." He said they are wel­comed in the bush. "The ma­jor­ity of work­ers come away with very pos­i­tive so­cial and eco­nomic ex­pe­ri­ences." Just some­thing to re­mem­ber.

Rick Lee - Editor

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