Labor has welcomed the government’s plan to support Tasmania’s agricultural sector, but has warned it must not be set up to fail.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Shane Broad said government needs to take care not to put barriers in the way of people keen to work in the sector.
“With so many Tasmanians losing their jobs because of COVID, it makes good sense to train or reskill people so we can match up displaced workers with agricultural employers crying out for staff.
“The government should lobby their Federal colleagues to make the necessary changes to social security rules to ensure that once the harvest is over, people won’t have to serve a waiting period before being able to access government support like the JobSeeker allowance.
“Knowing they will not be penalised for having a go at fruit picking will increase the number of people who will take it up.
“What also needs to be considered is other barriers to work, including transport options to get people from where they live to where the work is needed, and providing proper training.
“It’s pleasing that the government has adopted Labor’s Ag Kickstarter policy, which provides a subsidised training pathway for workers to gain basic skills to set them up for a career in the sector.
“We now urge the government to fast track more proposals from Labor’s Recovery Package, including our Free TAFE Policy, to help 5,000 more Tasmanians to gain qualifications in other areas of high skill demand, including the hospitality and building and construction sectors.
“The Premier’s own Advisory Council recommended funding a program of free vocational training. It’s a good move for industry and a good move for Tasmanian jobs.”
Shane Broad MP
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries