Labour intensive industries in the north, including horticulture and agriculture, and those involved in the Northern Australia tourism pilot are expected to benefit from a number of new measures to support the Seasonal Worker Programme.
Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the new measures, to be phased in from 1 July, 2018 include introducing a multi-entry visa for seasonal workers, offering greater flexibility in the granting of visas, and piloting new ways to lower upfront costs for employers seeking access to the programme.
“Across the north, we have a number of industries that rely on the Seasonal Worker Programme to help fill labour shortages during peak harvest periods, so it’s great to see new measures that will increase the flexibility and support the scheme offers,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Where there are no local workers available, these changes to the programme will assist employers seeking access to a seasonal workforce.”
Senator Macdonald said the improvements will be especially appealing to potential employers, as they reduce red tape and save time.
“I am pleased to be part of a Government that wants to ensure our valuable horticulture and agriculture industries in the north have access to the seasonal workforce they need, while at the same time ensuring that locals looking for work have first access to all opportunities.”
Critical safeguards are built into the Seasonal Worker Programme. This includes the requirement for employers to fully test the local job market before they can apply to recruit workers from nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste. Seasonal workers brought into Australia by employers are subject to the same workplace relations and work health and safety safeguards as Australian workers.
For more information about the Seasonal Worker Programme, please visit: www.employment.gov.au/seasonal-worker-programme