Australia NT cash offer to attract fruit pickers
Fruit pickers paid $1000 to harvest melon crop in Northern Territory
The Northern Territory government will pay fruit pickers who travel north $1000 to help harvest more than 75,000 tonnes of ripening melon crop, with a $200 bonus for working a 30 hour week.Coronavirus travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, leaving growers desperately short of labourers to pick their fruit.
The Northern Territory is offering thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who travel to the Top End and help harvest the ripening melon crop.
Coronavirus travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, leaving growers desperately short of labourers to pick their fruit.
The NT government wants Australian workers to fill the shortfall and help harvest the more than 75,000-tonne melon crop, which includes seeded and seedless watermelons and rockmelons.
Pacific fruit pickers fly into SA to ease worker shortages this citrus season
About 200 Tongan fruit-picking workers will head to the Riverland after touching down in Adelaide today for the upcoming citrus harvest, with their arrival expected to ease "critical shortages" in the sector.The seasonal workers are the first cohort of about 1,200 from Tonga who will arrive in the state over the next three months.
The $70 million per year NT industry is critical to national melon supply and allows shoppers to buy the produce 12 months of the year.
The NT government is offering $1000 per worker for up to 200 people to pick the fruit, along with $480,000 for bonuses to help businesses retain them.
A bonus of $200 per week will be available for people that work a minimum of 30 hours per week, for at least five weeks between April 12 and July 12.
"We produce the best melons in Australia and we have to get them off our farms into grocery shops and supermarkets across Australia," Minister for Agribusiness Nicole Manison said on Thursday.
"Our message is simple, come to the Territory to work in a great place, have a great experience, and pick our melons."
International fruit pickers return to work in Victoria
Seasonal overseas workers from the Pacific have returned to Victorian farms after a year of being unable to enter the country for work.More than 200 Pacific employees have already arrived at the farms, and today kicked off their first day on the job picking apples in the Yarra Valley.
The jobs on offer include picking, packing, sorting and logistics roles.
Workers with licenses to operate forklifts, trucks and production machinery will be in hot demand.
Ms Manison said the NT's seasonal and overseas workforce has fallen by 73 per cent over the past year.
The NT Farmers Association attempted to arrange workers to come from Timor Leste to help harvest the melon crop, but COVID-19 stopped that.
The association has previously brought two groups of South Pacific fruit pickers to the Territory to help harvest the mango crop in September and October.
About 320 labourers from from Vanuatu helped pick about 33,000 tonnes of the fruit, worth more than $100 million.
Citrus SA pushes for Pacific Island travel bubble to sustain local citrus industry .
South Australia's peak citrus body says getting Pacific Island workers to quarantine at regional facilities is not sustainable and a travel bubble is needed.The organisation's push follows the announcement of a this week, that will allow quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia.