Worker shortage hits Lindenow horticulture industry
The Lindenow Valley’s $150 million horticulture industry is reeling from a shortage of seasonal workers because of the state government’s failure to put suitable quarantine arrangements in place, according to the Member for Gippsland east, Tim Bull.
In parliament last week, Mr Bull spoke about the plight of growers in the Lindenow Valley who are approaching their peak harvest period and do not have the workers available, meaning some crops may not be picked.
In addition to employing hundreds of local workers, these growers are reliant on sourcing additional seasonal labour through the federal government’s Pacific Labour Scheme.
“The charter flights to bring workers to Victoria from Vanuatu under this scheme are on hold because the government has failed to put quarantine arrangements in place,” said Mr Bull.
“We have cases where farmers are happy to pay for the flights, but there is no system in place.”