Nationals talk worker shortages
Federal Nationals leader David Littleproud visited Swettenham Stud in Nagambie last week to discuss worker shortages and the need for investment in regional infrastructure to attract workers to the region.
Mr Littleproud and The Nationals candidate for the seat of Euroa Annabelle Cleeland met with thoroughbred racing stakeholders at the stud on Thursday to discuss concerns with workers.
Mr Littleproud said the region needed a clear plan to ease workforce shortages.
“Central Victoria is one of Australia’s greatest thoroughbred regions but are facing some serious challenges with staff retention and recruitment,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We’re an incredibly urbanised population — there simply aren’t enough locals to keep our equine industry running.
“We need a dedicated ag visa stream to support regional areas and we need to support the 80,000 Australians working in the equine sector.”
Ms Cleeland outlined the challenges facing the region and her plans to support population growth through the region.
“There are so many local businesses, from agriculture to hospitality, who are crying out for action to get more workers to the region and boost the economy,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Job vacancies are better than the alternative, but some businesses are still operating at
reduced hours or capacity. We need a plan to fill these jobs and get back to pre-COVID business.
“One of the big hurdles in getting people to
move to regional Victoria and enjoy the great lifestyle is the lack of essential infrastructure.”