The Palaszczuk Government is working closely with industry to bring more quarantine capacity online for agricultural workers to work on Queensland farms.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said COVID-19 had created a difficult environment for attracting agricultural labour, with tens of thousands of backpackers leaving the country in the face of the pandemic.
He said the industry will be boosted by the arrival of more than 550 Pacific workers over the next two months, to complement the 1223 that have already arrived and started work.
“More than 76 new Pacific workers will arrive to start work in the Burdekin tomorrow, followed by 160 in the Lockyer Valley and another 72 in the Wide Bay region in the next couple of weeks,” Mr Furner said.
“Another 245 workers will arrive to work in Central, North and Far North Queensland before the end of May.
“The thousands of seasonal jobs on offer every season in Queensland have always been filled by a balance of local and overseas workers.”
“We are standing shoulder to shoulder with our farmers to help them access the labour they need.”
Queensland Government Assistance includes:
- Supporting applications and COVID compliance for on-farm quarantine facility approvals;
- Helping farmers find local workforce solutions through the Queensland Agricultural Workforce Network;
- Incentives up to $1500 to help Queensland workers with travel and accommodation costs to take up farm work; and
- The launch of the #PickQld campaign to attract more Australian workers to Queensland farms.
“Agriculture in Queensland is undoubtably a great opportunity for people who are willing to have a go,” Mr Furner said.
“There are still many opportunities for Queenslanders to take up these jobs, and I would love to see them accept that challenge and support our farmers.”