AUSVEG calls for agriculture visa
With the federal election fast approaching, AUSVEG has called on political parties to address the major labour shortages in the horticulture industry.
The peak industry body for the Australian vegetable and potato industries has outlined a number of key priorities that decision-makers should take into account in ‘SPROUT: Growing a better future’. One of these priorities is supporting growers with the implementation of an agriculture visa.
“AUSVEG, together with other industry bodies in horticulture, has long been advocating for a solution to our labour issue,” said AUSVEG CEO James Whiteside. “With an election looming, now is the time for both major parties to make a strong commitment to the future viability, profitability and growth of our industry.”
To ensure the $11 billion horticulture sector continues to grow, AUSVEG highlighted the importance of accessing efficient labour, as it is the largest individual cost for many horticulture farm businesses.
“There are growers who need workers now; otherwise fruit and vegetables will not be harvested and will be left to rot, leading to unnecessary cost and waste,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside said AUSVEG also supports the commitment to a National Labour Hire Licencing Scheme (Labor) and National Labour Hire Registration Scheme (Coalition), but more needs to be done.
“While it is a positive step to have these commitments from the major parties already, it will not be enough to address the crucial labour shortage affecting horticulture in the long term. We are calling on all political parties to make a call on introducing an agriculture visa and allowing our industry to prosper with the right workforce.”
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