More than 100 Pacific Islands workers arrived in Victoria today, as part of an agreement with the Tasmanian and Victorian Governments to provide vital support to farms and agriculture businesses across the state.
Additional workers will arrive from Tasmania in the coming days as part of a planned, rolling schedule of arrivals that will see up to 1,500 Pacific Islands workers join the local workforce in Victoria.
Victorian Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas said the arrival of the workers was a “fantastic step to bolster the local workforce for the Big Victorian Harvest”.
“These workers are an integral part of the seasonal workforce, undertaking important work to support our state’s $15.9 billion agriculture industry,” the Minister said.
“We have worked hard to secure these workers in partnership with other jurisdictions following the challenges faced by the coronavirus pandemic.”
“This is a great example of what can be achieved when governments, industry and employers work together for the greater good of agriculture.”
“Our Pacific neighbours will be warmly welcomed on our farms from next week and will join local workers across the state as the harvest continues.”
She said the workers had completed 14 days quarantine in Tasmania, thanks to a landmark agreement between the Victorian and Tasmanian governments.
They will join the agriculture workforce in Victoria and spend the next couple of days settling into their new homes, preparing to start work next week.
The first group of Pacific Islands workers will bolster the seasonal workforce across the state, from the Yarra Valley and Gippsland right across to Sunraysia. A group of additional workers will also start work on Tasmanian farms.
“Tasmanian agriculture is continuing to grow. We’re working with industry to ensure our fruit is picked, our vegetables harvested, our meat is processed and our grapes are crushed this season, and in future seasons,” said Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Guy Barnett.
“The Tasmanian Government has worked side-by-side with Tasmania’s agricultural industry and partnering jurisdictions to minimise the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure we get our fruit and vegetables harvested and support the continued growth of Tasmanian agriculture.”