The vegetablesWA team and I welcome the State Government announcement to allow Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme workers back into Western Australia.
Yesterday the McGowan Government heeded industry advice to re-establish the labour programs after stating that “incentivising those on JobSeeker payments into agricultural work – have not been forthcoming”.
The news to allow Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme workers into WA is a significant relief but we are still urging the government to move fast to mitigate more significant crop losses.
WA Minister for Agriculture Alannah MacTiernan said she was confident some Vanuatu workers working in the Northern Territory would be available to WA as early as the end of October or early November.
It is our understanding that the State Government is in discussions with the Northern Territory and Federal governments to bring additional seasonal workers from Vanuatu and Timor Leste into the country and use the Howard Springs facility as a quarantine base for workers travelling across to WA.
We encourage you to continue supporting the ‘Work and Wander out Yonder‘ campaign and related worker incentives scheme to encourage locals to help fill labour gaps across regional WA.
We understand the challenges surrounding the program and urge all growers to continue labour market testing and feeding results back to Melissa Denning on 0477 477 044 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Media Statement from Minister for Agriculture and Food, Alannah MacTiernan here