Helping our critical industries recover from COVID-19

Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is working in partnership with our agricultural businesses and the industry to attract and retain an effective seasonal workforce as we continue to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of our $1.9 million Agricultural Workforce Resilience Package, the Tasmanian Government will invest $430,000 over two years to five agriculture peak bodies in Round One of the extended Strategic Industry Partnership Program (SIPP).

We are committed to helping our agriculture businesses recover from COVID-19, and initiatives like this will be vitally important in achieving our goal to grow Tasmania’s agriculture sector to $10 billion a year by 2050 – driving investment and creating local jobs.

The two year boost to the SIPP will help businesses in a number of ways, including

  • Helping to build COVID-19 business resilience
  • Assisting in their recovery and growth; and
  • Promotion of jobs and careers in Tasmanian agriculture, skills, training, and workforce development to meet identified industry needs, and assisting industry to mobilise Tasmanian residents for seasonal harvest workers.

It’s great news for our primary industries sector and will help the industry build resilience in the face of challenges, while attracting the workforce they need and providing greater opportunities to diversify.

It will also complement our Tassie Harvest Jobs campaign that has been instrumental in helping more Tasmanians into work in our vital primary industries sector.

Industry peak bodies receiving funding in the first round are:

  • Fruit Growers Tasmania to deliver a suite of awareness raising, induction and skills development programs to attract, train and retain agricultural workers for harvest and on-going jobs in agriculture ($112,902 over two years).
  • Wine Tasmania for introduction of skills-based training for new wine sector workers; provision of targeted information, resources, tools and workshops for wine producers, focusing on sustainability and workforce needs and development of Net Zero Carbon Emissions program ($95,000 over two years).
  • Livestock Transport Association of Tasmania for attraction, recruitment, development and retention of a professional livestock transport workforce and assist with induction of new industry entrants ($18,000 over two years).
  • Sprout for collection of statewide data on the small-scale farming sector and development of online education, tools and engagement programs to support resilience, growth, efficiency and sustainability of the small-scale farming sector in Tasmania ($132,390 in 2020-21).
  • Tasmanian Hemp Association for extension of an executive officer to deliver educational days, with a specific focus on improving productivity, and other activities focused on resilience and growth ($72,600).

The SIPP provides targeted small grants on a co-investment basis to peak industry bodies and organisations, recognising the critical role they play in supporting our agri-food industry sectors.

We also expect further rounds of the SIPP to pilot an industry-sponsored boost to regional transport, with $250 000 over two years of the total SIPP fund earmarked for this purpose.

We will continue working closely with industry to ensure they have what they need to harvest produce, which feeds our state and nation.

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