Citrus Australia welcomes Victorian-Tasmanian seasonal worker plan
22 January 2021
Citrus Australia welcomes the decision by the Victorian and Tasmanian governments to bring seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands to Victoria.
CEO Nathan Hancock said that while the citrus industry looks forward to seeing more detail on the plan, a quarantine pathway was desperately needed and welcomed.
“This decision to provide a quarantine pathway that ensures the health and safety of both the seasonal workers and the local community, will help us harvest what is shaping as a large crop of fresh, healthy citrus for all Australians,” Mr Hancock said.
“Extra farmgate sales as a result of additional seasonal workers will also produce flow-on benefits to the regional communities surrounding these farms, as well as the Island communities where these workers come from.”
Under the deal, an initial 1500 workers from the Pacific Islands will undertake quarantine in Tasmania over the first half of 2021 before arriving in Victoria.
The costs will be borne by the Victorian Government and industry.
Mr Hancock said many more seasonal workers will be required, and industry’s contribution must be fair, but it is an important first step.
“We agree with the Premier when he says this arrangement isn’t a silver bullet in addressing this season’s challenges, but it will ease some of the pressure being felt by farmers.
“We look forward to working closely with the Victorian Government on these details to ensure this program benefits our growers, the workers from the Pacific Islands and the Australian community through supplying world class fresh fruit.”