Details of new agriculture visa still thin on the ground but industry remains hopeful of meaningful change – ABC News


It might take a meat worker virtually Quarter-hour To current one steak from a carcass. 

For Definitely one of Australia’s largest beef corporations, Which means hiring virtually one worker For every animal That is processed.

In completely different phrases, It is labour intensive.

Whereas An excellent deal of Australians like consuming meat, it seems there are not enough Aussies who take pleasure in processing it, and it has Discover your self to be an enterprise extremely reliant on migrant staff.

Farm working visa To start subsequent month

The visa, which might current a pathway to everlasting residency, had been opposed by some Liberals, so its affirmation Is taken Beneath think aboutation A critical victory for the Nationwides in assist of farming, fisheries, forestry and meat processing.

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The agriculture visa Is meant to create An alternative for staff in farming, fisheries, forestry and meat processing to take up expert and un-expert jobs Which will’t be crammed domestically.

The federal authorities says It’s going to think about making The mannequin new visa a pathway to everlasting residency, however that’s no guarantee.

There’s furtherly no guarantee There’ll be any staff to take up the visa given, So far, no nations have signed As a lot as This method.

The federal authorities Is about To primarytain bilateral talks with nations That Can be involved and Discover what They might anticipate of the visa in return.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has earlier thanhand suggested The united kingdom – which recently withdrew A ten,000 backpacker per-yr workforce as An factor of commerce negotiations — and ASEAN nations as targets for the visa.

Grain growers, determined for staff Which will function specialist equipment, hope North American and European nations Can furtherly agree.

These negotiations will decide a lot about how the visa will work.

Flight caps subsequent primary hurdle

As quickly as that’s nutted out, the success of the visa will all Depfinish upon The power of staff to entry flights.

Beneath current flight caps, simply 3,000 People are allowed into Australia every week.

Do not overlook there are Australians who Can’t get house – tens of hundreds of them.

Assuming the flight problem Might be overcome, quarantine is an virtually insurmountable hurdle in Australia proper now.

Like A great steak, It’s costly and It is unusual.

Based mostly on Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, Mr Littleproud is Fury at federal program for individuals To return into his state on the agriculture visa.

Whereas Mr Littleproud might take comfort that Mr Andrews truly believes There’ll be staff on the visa knocking on the door quickly, the Queenslander was quick to level out that the Premier presently has his palms full confirming quarantine for Pacific Island staff, already accredited for work in Victoria.

David Littleproud has been the one out and about promoting The mannequin new visa.(

ABC Information: Matt Roberts


There Is not any scarcity of tit-for-tat.

The quarantine of ag staff is one in An extfinished line of battlefronts between the states and the Commonwealth over its dealing with of the pandemic.

It Could have been misplaced in some reporting of this week’s announcement However It is  important To discover the “full circumstances [of the agriculture visa] Shall be developed and carried out over The subsequent three yrs As a Outcome of the visa is operationalised”.

And sure, solely the authorities would use a phrase like “operationalise”.

More unknowns than knowns

So, what Can All of us know Regarding the visa? It’s going to be functiond and overseen by the Division of Overseas Affairs and Trade.

But what’s nonetheless unknown is how intently The mannequin new visa might resemble current Pacific labour packages, or what safeguards Shall be put in place To Guarantee it Does not undermine these packages.

The ag visa was introduced in A press launch co-signed by Overseas Minister Marise Payne and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Mr Littleproud.

Nationwide Farmers’ Federation Fiona Simson had doubts the visa would ever happen.(

Provided: Fiona Simson


It was Mr Littleproud who was out promoting the visa this week.

The Nationwides deputy chief says by initially using a subsection of the pre-current 403 visa, foreigners might have their boots on The underside after September 30, although he “is cautious To not put A exact date As quickly as we’ll see The primary staff”.

He furtherly Will not put a quantity on What quantity of staff are anticipated to take up the visa, Choosing a “demand-pushed strategy”.

As quickly as extra, It’s unclear how that Shall be measured.

One farm enterprise insider suggested it might be lots of, not hundreds, of foreign staff that arrive Inside the months earlier than Christmas.

It’s troublesome to Understand how optimistic That is, However the horticulture sector alone says it wants Greater than 20,000 further staff for this summer time’s harvest.

There are extra Inquiries to be answered Regarding the portability of staff if and As quickly as they arrive, and the Opposition is looking for assurances that staff from overseas Will not be exploited.

Harvest staff scarcity threatens to derail ancompletely different bumper crop

Australian cropping areas are on monitor for a doc yr, however with worldwide borders nonetheless closed there are rising considerations A few scarcity of staff To finish the harvest.

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But for now, The event of the agriculture visa is An monumental win for the Nationwides.

Farmers have been calling for it since 2016 and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he assisted it in 2018, prolonged earlier than COVID-19 causes farm work shortfall the strain on the farm workforce.Some Coalition divided over new agriculture visa, and farmers had virtually given up on the prospect of A mannequin new visa, when Mr Littleproud seized An alternative on the sidelines of The united kingdom commerce deal, simply days earlier than Michael McCormack was sacked as Nationwides chief earlier this yr.

This week, she believed it.

For these ready to look past The subsequent harvest and past the pandemic, There’s The probability that the agriculture visa might current exact, significant change throughout the farm sector.

There is a lot of steak to hit the plate earlier than that occurs.


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