The Australian Labor Party has defended its plan to exchange the agriculture visa introduced by the federal authorities final yr and supply extra incentives to farm staff from the Pacific. Yesterday, the occasion introduced it could create a devoted agriculture visa stream underneath the established Palm (Pacific Australia Labor Mobility) scheme, successfully changing the Coalition’s new visa for forestry, fishery, and farm staff focusing on staff from south-east Asia.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud accused the opposition of scrapping the agricultural visa which Australian farmers wanted to satisfy workforce shortages. “The Australian Workers’ Union have got their way and will kill the hopes of providing a long-term solution to the labor workforce issues in agriculture,” Littleproud stated. “What Labor has announced today is what is already in place with some tinkering at the edges of the Pacific Labor Mobility Program.”
The shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Kristina Keneally, has said this was not the case as “the only thing that changes are the source countries, where the workers come from.” Labor would additionally publicly fund the preliminary journey prices of Pacific staff touring to Australia somewhat than farmers, permit staff to carry their households, and promote everlasting residency on a brand new Pacific Engagement Visa.
Michael Coote, CEO of AUSVEG, stated the proposed modifications to the ag visa would limit the variety of companion nations and end in fewer staff on Australian farms.