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Prime Minister confirms commitment to ag visa

18 October 2018

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has again confirmed his Government’s commitment to a visa to specifically address the crippling labour shortages facing Australia's farm sector.

Prime Minister Morrison made the announcement at the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) Congress in Canberra today.

The announcement was welcomed by NFF President Fiona Simson.

"The NFF is delighted by the Prime Minister's re-commitment," Ms Simson said.

"Mr Morrison today gave agriculture the confidence it was seeking, that an agricultural visa would become a reality.

"Right now farmers across the country, are struggling to find the pickers and packers needed to harvest and prepare their summer crop for market.

"The inability to source adequate labour, is an indisputable constraint on our vision for agriculture to achieve a farmgate output value of $100 billion by 2030."

The Prime Minister also reiterated his commitment, and that of Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, to working to see that more Australians take up roles in agriculture.

"Of course, the PM’s is also committed to putting Aussies first. The NFF agrees whole-heartedly," Ms Simson said.

"Aussies must be given priority access to Aussie jobs.

"We implore farmers to answer the PM’s call, and register their vacancies with the newly-established National Harvest Labour Information Service, so that Australians can fill these positions, where they’re ready, willing and able.

"But when and where this doesn't happen, then other solutions have to be created.

"Today the PM again demonstrated that his Government understands this.

"Whatever the solution: a dedicated agricultural visa, a regional visa or changes to existing programs to make them fit-for-purpose for farmers, the NFF is not fixed on a name or structure. We are only interested in ensuring our farmers' labour woes are solved."

"The NFF will continue to work with the PM, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the whole of the Morrison Government to see that labour solutions are delivered to a sector in dire need.

"And while answers are needed in the short term as peak harvest season is nearing for much of the country, the reality is that this is a perennial problem.

"It won’t disappear anytime soon," Ms Simson said.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
P 0408 448 250
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