The Federal Government has delivered a vital agriculture visa to help secure the future of rural and regional Australia. The Agricultural Worker Visa will provide a long term, reliable workforce for our critical industries while solving one of the great challenges facing regional Australia in recent history.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said he was incredibly proud to be a part of the government that has consistently fought for and delivered for regional communities.

“The Agriculture Worker Visa will be in place by the end of September 2021, with the full implementation of this demand driven visa complete within 3 years,” Mr Pasin said.

“The visa will be open to applicants from a range of countries and will be available to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.

“It will include meat processing, fisheries and forestry sectors and provide a basis for the ongoing growth of our primary industries.

“The visa will also greatly assist the citrus industry in the Riverland as they manage and plan out their future workforce needs. South Australia has led the way with the quarantine facility at Paringa. This really saved the SA citrus crop this year and hopefully with this new visa, we can be equally accommodating to help more farmers get our produce off the trees, out of the ground and off to market.”

“We’ve listened to our communities and our industries, and this is what they’ve asked for. This will also help keep our next generation in Barker knowing that the future of regional Australia is bright and prosperous.”

Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the agriculture workforce shortage has been a major issue during 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,” Minister Littleproud said.

“With the changes to the Working Holiday Maker program following the UKFTA, the Government knew this was the time to put the agriculture visa in place.

“This is a structural change to the agricultural workforce. It gives our farmers a confidence to know they can go and plant a crop and know that they’ll be able to get it off.

“It will complement the Pacific programs we have got in place, and we will also be considering permanent residency options under the new Ag visa.”