AUSVEG says fruit and vegetable growers set to benefit from Agriculture Visa

AUSVEG, the peak industry body for vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the signing of legislation by the Governor General for the Australian Agriculture Visa, which is a key piece to solving the horticulture industry’s labour puzzle for the future.

As outlined in the regulations that were introduced, the Australian Agriculture Visa will be a stream of the Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa and will offer a 4-year, multiple entry visa targeting short-term and long-term workers.

The visa will include low-skilled and skilled workers from ASEAN countries and will have the ability to be expanded to include other countries.

“This is a significant moment for the Australian vegetable and potato industry, which relies heavily on an efficient and reliable workforce to get its produce to market,” said AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote.

“The signing shows that the Federal Government has listened to industry’s concerns and acted. We will continue to work with government on the development of the visa to ensure it meets the needs of growers and workers.”

“The Australian Agriculture Visa will complement the existing visa programs such as the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) and the Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement (HILA) and will offer another avenue for growers to access an efficient workforce.”

AUSVEG has been working closely with the Federal Government on the development of the visa, with ensuring the program’s integrity through high worker welfare standards central to these discussions.

“The new visa will only be successful if the health and safety of workers is protected. Workers who come to Australia to pick fresh produce do so to work hard and earn good money, but we also want them to enjoy the experience and feel safe while they work,” Mr Coote said.

AUSVEG is committed to the Federal Government’s goal of Australian Agriculture reaching $100 billion farm gate production value by season 2030.

“For the Australian vegetable and potato industry to play its part in achieving this ambitious goal, growers require access to a more efficient, reliable and competent workforce,” said Mr Coote.

“We welcome the signing and look forward to continuing the discussions with the Federal Government on the design of this critical programme for our industry.”

More