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Seasonal workers to arrive in Victoria after convoluted deal reached

Tom Elliott
Article image for Seasonal workers to arrive in Victoria after convoluted deal reached

Desperate farmers calling out for support as unpicked produce goes to waste will soon welcome seasonal workers to their farms.

1500 Pacific island workers will board chartered flights and complete their immigration checks in Canberra before heading to Tasmania for 14 days quarantine.

They will then fly to Victoria to provide labor for harvesting crops.

In return, Tasmania’s quota for Australians returning overseas will do their quarantine in Melbourne hotels.

Workers are expected to start arriving at the end of February despite the harvest season happening now.

However, President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Emma Germano says it’s a plan that’s “light on detail.”

“What we know is that harvest season is always on going… But they will miss the plum fruit season starting in the Goulborn valley,” she told Tom Elliott on 3AW Drive.

“What we don’t know then is when the citrus season will be starting , and we can’t bring them unless we know they’ve got work to go to.”

Other issues include a cost benefit analysis to bring the workers in, how quickly they can get their visas approved and how Tasmania deals with it’s own seasonal workers.

“Right now Industry’s scrambling working out exactly where those workers will be placed, and trying to work out what the deadlines on those flights are so we know whether it’s going to work.”

Click PLAY to hear the interview below

Tom Elliott
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