Growers in the Riverland will receive more support to resolve labour shortages with the signing of a new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement.
The new agreement means horticulture growers will have access to a skilled and semi-skilled workforce to help deliver the high quality fruit and vegetables enjoyed by Australians and the world.
Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP said growers in the Riverland are now able to access the labour agreement that came into effect 1 January 2020.
“We listened to our growers and we understand the issues they face,” Mr Pasin said.
“We want to ensure the continued success of our growers, and that’s why the Government has worked closely with the horticulture industry in delivery this new labour agreement.”
“Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps and grow local economies”.
The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement follows the success of labour agreements in other industries such as the dairy, meat and pork industry.
It also complements existing migration programmes to support regional employers and communities, including the Working Holiday Maker Programme, Seasonal Worker Programme, the Pacific Labour Scheme and Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs).
Minister for Agriculture Senator McKenzie said the new labour agreement is a practical response to the desperate need across regional and rural Australia for greater access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers.
“This is about recognising that horticulture is a developed industry and requires a skilled workforce to continue to grow,” Ms McKenzie said.
“It is another example of how the Government is improving opportunities for growth and development in regional communities.”
As of 1 January 2020, horticultural employers are able to submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs to sponsor a migrant worker to come to Australia and fill one of the 31 approved occupations listed under the Labour Agreement.
Further details are available on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/skilled-migration-program/recent-changes
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8531 2466