Overdue grants, no workers: Labor’s plan to fix seasonal worker shortage

Farmers are still falling victim to the Andrews Labor Government’s fundamental misunderstanding of Victoria’s $15.9 billion agriculture sector.


Labor’s Agriculture Minister claimed that government grants announced today will build accommodation to “support this season’s harvest workers”.


But Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said this year’s harvest was over for many farmers and well underway for others, while others had been forced to plough a year’s hard work into the ground because of Labor’s delays.


“The Andrews Government’s seasonal worker scheme with Tasmania still hasn’t delivered a single worker for our horticulture or meat processing sectors,” Mr Walsh said.


“To announce accommodation grants today, that will do nothing to help our farmers this harvest, shows the desperation of a Labor Government totally devoid of ideas but desperate for a headline.


“Seasonal workers were needed months ago but are still not expected to arrive in the next few weeks.


“It’s too little too late for many Victorian farmers.


“We’re now two weeks into March and Labor’s deal with Tasmania still hasn’t delivered a single picker to a Victorian farm – long past the promise of workers being available by the end of February.


“The Andrews Labor Government sat on its hands for months, even ignoring a proposal from industry that was put up in October last year to quarantine workers through a facility in Mildura.


“The COVID pandemic has put pressure on our agriculture sector, but it’s been made worse under a Labor Government that isn’t prepared to do the work to support farmers and fix the problems.”


Peter Walsh MP

Shadow Minister for Agriculture

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