Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Worker visa is coming


Agricultur­al industries including cropping and dairy along the Murray are set to benefit from the Agricultur­al Worker Visa, which the government says is going to provide a long term, reliable workforce for these critical industries.

Deniliquin-based Federal Senator for NSW Perin Davey said the visa will help solve one of the great challenges facing regional Australia in recent history, being workforce shortages.

‘‘Since working holiday makers stopped coming due to border closures, I have taken many calls from farmers across the state looking for help to fill both skilled and unskilled positions,’’ Senator Davey said.

‘‘The Murray is a vital dairy region producing milk for domestic and internatio­nal markets, but they have struggled to find staff even despite paying above award.

‘‘Agricultur­al workforce shortages are a growing problem and I am proud that the Nationals have been able to deliver on this crucial issue.’’

Senator Davey said the agricultur­e visa will be in place no later than September 30 this year, with the full implementa­tion of this demand driven visa complete within three years.

‘‘The visa will complement existing workers’ visas including the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Island Program and will be open to applicants from a range of countries.

‘‘We’ve listened to our communitie­s and our industries, and this is what they’ve asked for. This will help keep businesses in Murray, knowing that the future of regional Australia is bright and prosperous.’’

Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Federal Minister for Agricultur­e David Littleprou­d said the agricultur­e workforce shortage has become increasing­ly urgent due to COVID.

‘‘While our farmers and industries have gone about their work keeping Australian­s and the world fed and clothed, they have done so under workforce constraint­s,” Mr Littleprou­d said.

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