It’s a slap in the face to growers and industry for Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas to be standing on farm today patting herself on the back for delivering a handful of seasonal workers months after they were needed on Victorian farms.
The long overdue arrival of seasonal workers on Victorian farms is too late for many in Victorian horticulture, including table grape, stone fruit and summer vegetable growers.
Today’s media stunt is a desperate attempt to cover up the Andrews Labor Government’s own incompetence.
It’s six months since the Andrews Labor Government refused to adopt industry’s ready-made solution to urgently deliver seasonal workers into a purpose-built quarantine facility at Mildura.
A lack of workers left too many farmers forced to plough this season’s hard work into the ground or leave fruit to rot on the trees.
Labor’s delays have dragged our farmers’ livelihood through the dirt.
The Andrews Labor Government’s botched hotel quarantine that put the entire state into lockdown and cost 801 lives and a continued lack of confidence in its own contact tracing have left our state’s recovery at a snail’s pace and the prospect of international arrivals, including a seasonal workforce, on thin ice.
The arrogant Andrews Labor Government is only interested in headlines and press releases, when it should be working with industry to achieve a good outcome for our farmers and Victoria’s $15.9 billion agriculture sector.
Peter Walsh MP
Shadow Minister for Agriculture