A backlog of seasonal workers required in Tasmania means Victorian farmers still won’t have access to seasonal workers for at least eight weeks.
The Andrews Labor Government today announced a pathway for 1500 workers to come into Victoria, it follows 12 months of industry calls for a solution.
In contrast, Daniel Andrews has prioritised 1200 players and staff for February’s Australian Open.
Our growers needed these workers months ago but today the Andrews Government today confirmed workers will only be made available “over the first half of 2021”.
There’s still no detail on how much of the bill the agriculture industry will be forced to foot, raising serious questions as to the viability of Labor’s long overdue announcement.
Daniel Andrews could have adopted industry’s proposal in October last year to quarantine workers at a purpose-built facility in Mildura, but instead arrogantly denied farmers the workers they desperately needed.
Labor has risked our $8.5 billion horticulture industry, despite finding a way to open our state to a tennis tournament that brings in $387 million.
Industry is predicting a further eight-week wait for these workers to actually arrive in Victoria, meaning more growers will have to make the heartbreaking decision to destroy their livelihood or leave high-quality fruit and vegetables to rot.
Farmers who have already been forced to watch a year’s work ploughed into the ground aren’t celebrating this announcement – they’re demanding an explanation of why Daniel Andrews didn’t act sooner.
Peter Walsh MP
Shadow Minister for Agriculture