Guy Barnett,Minister for Primary Industries and Water
There are now more than 4000 jobs currently available on the Harvest Trail website and the Government is doing all we can to ensure that Tasmanians are prioritised for these jobs.
We are committed to working with and assisting industry ahead of the upcoming planting, production and harvest seasons and we are encouraged by the results of the campaign so far, with over 15,000 views on the Harvest Jobs website.
While Tasmanians are being prioritised, we are listening to industry and their concerns, and yesterday’s announcement of the pathway for experienced agricultural workers to enter Tasmania under strict COVID-Safe conditions is very good news.
This will go a long way to ensuring we have the workers required now and over the coming months to complete the harvest and support our primary producers, with at least 9,000 workers required during the peak December to March period.
As we have said, the management of incoming workers will be based on public health advice and can only proceed in a COVID safe way.
Workers can only come from non-affected areas and will be required to operate under strict conditions on their movement for 14 days while staying in their primary place of residence unless going to work, seeking medical care or essential supplies.
The workers will equally be operating under stringent COVID-Safe processes as part of the sector’s COVID-Safe workplace plans.
I commend everyone involved in our vibrant and growing primary industries for their proactivity and willingness to work with public health to achieve this outcome.
Combining the efforts of workers already located in Tasmania and seasonal workers from the mainland makes sense, to ensure a skilled and effective workforce, local food security, job security and to keep our key local agricultural economy going.
We are continuing to review the mainland situation in terms of COVID-19 and how that might impact movement of workers from currently affected and non-affected areas.
However, our top priority remains getting Tasmanians to fill the picking, sorting, packing, driving and pruning positions, and we continue to urge Tasmanians in need of work to roll their sleeves up and help our vital primary industries, while gaining new skills and experience in the process.