2000 international workers arrive to support agricultural industry

 

MINISTER for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced more than 2,000 overseas skilled agricultural workers have arrived in NSW in the last twelve months to help industry overcome the COVID-induced labour shortage.

These workers will help reduce the cost to the industry from approximately $3,000 per person to $1,500.

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Mr Marshall said the lack of workers in the agricultural sector remained at critical levels, which is why the NSW Government’s continued support was so important.

Alongside with aiding the workers’ arrival, the NSW Government is also providing additional financial subsidisation for agricultural businesses through a hotel quarantine program.

Hotel quarantine on arrival has proven to be a significant barrier for these businesses and so the NSW Government is subsidising 50 percent of these costs.

A local farmer from the Stroud region told News Of The Area of the challenging times across the past few years.

“We’ve had to bounce back from the bushfires in the 2019-20 season and then last year’s pandemic where we struggled largely.

“A lot of us went into 2021 optimistic for a good year but then we were hit with the mouse plague and the Delta COVID-19 outbreak.

“Although this incentive by the Government is not going to fix all the problems we’re having, it’s a definite start to help us rebuild what we’ve lost.”

This program was approved under the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers Program which includes a mandatory hotel quarantine for all international arrivals before work commences.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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