Australian jobseekers could soon be incentivised to work on regional farms

The federal budget due on Tuesday will likely include measures to help plug labour shortages in the farm sector threatening the harvest of fruit and vegetables.

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, August 26, 2020. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

Australian Agriculture Minister David Littleproud Source: AAP

Unemployed Australians could be offered financial incentives to take up regional harvest work in the federal budget to be handed down next week.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud wants jobless Australians to "have a crack" at picking fruit and vegetables.

"So we're working through some measures that could be announced very soon around incentivising Australians who are on JobSeeker, but also Youth Allowance recipients, to look at measures and opportunities for them," he told The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.


The measures could include allowing welfare recipients to earn up to $300 a fortnight before their benefits were affected.

As well, backpackers, Pacific Island workers and other seasonal workers will be able to extend their visas to stay in Australia to help during the harvest period, according to The Australian.

The 30 year age limit on working holiday visas could also be dumped so more people can take on the work.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of state and international borders, the agriculture sector has struggled to find enough workers.

The budget will be released on 6 October.

1 min read
Published 30 September 2020 at 6:56am
Source: AAP,SBS