Australia is introducing an agriculture visa to secure the labour force needed by Australian farmers both now and into the future.
The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the announcement of a new seasonal agriculture worker visa will come as huge relief to the agriculture industry that has been crying out for a secure workforce.
The UK and Australian backpackers will no longer be required to fulfill a period of time working in the agriculture sector.
This visa will be extended to all ten ASEAN countries in view of our close and longstanding economic ties with the region.
This means the Visa will be available to citizens of these countries: United Kingdom, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines.
The new seasonal agricultural worker visa would mirror the existing Seasonal Worker Programme and will add to the pool of workers available to work on Australian farms.
Like the Seasonal Worker Programme, the new visa arrangement will have protections to ensure workers are protected, not subject to exploitation and that the visa is not misused.
With this Visa, Australian farmers will likely meet the labour demand they need to do what they do best – growing premium food and fibre and exporting it to the world.
The Australian Government said that they will work to have the new visa in place before the end of the year whereas Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has promised to deliver the new agriculture visa within three months (by September).
It comes after the Australian government agreed to scrap a requirement for British backpackers to pick fruit before extending their working holidays, under an in-principle free trade agreement with the UK.
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