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Victorian Farmers Federation boss says cash bonus makes fruit picking ‘quite lucrative’

Ross and Russel
Article image for Victorian Farmers Federation boss says cash bonus makes fruit picking ‘quite lucrative’

Victorians will be offered a cash bonus of almost $2500 if they pick fruit for at least six weeks, under a new state government scheme to get more workers to farms.

The statewide scheme comes as farmers repeatedly report food going to waste because of a shortage of backpackers and foreign workers, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

President of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Emma Germano, says a short stint fruit-picking “will actually be quite lucrative for people over the summer and autumn”.

“If it doesn’t work, I think we’ve demonstrated on every level that Aussies just don’t want to come out and do these jobs,” she told Ross and Russel.

“So prove us wrong, prove the government wrong, go out and pick some fruit, please!”

Under the new state government scheme, workers who do 10 days of fruit-picking work in a month will receive the first bonus of $810, and a further $1620 after six more weeks of work, provided that work is completed within three months.

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