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Summer harvest: QLD bringing back overseas labours for first time since pandemic

The Palaszczuk Government will work to ensure Queenslanders take priority for summer harvesting jobs while also opting into overseas seasonal workers schemes to avoid labour shortages.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said he has written to the Federal Government confirming Queensland’s participation in the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Workers Program.

“Both of these programs were halted in March due to COVID-19 restrictions and there is significant support from the agricultural sector to restart them to supplement local labour,” Mr Furner said.

“Queensland agriculture must have access to the workforce it needs to secure our food supply and keep the State’s economic recovery moving.

“The Palaszczuk Government, by taking a multi-pronged approach, will ensure our food and agribusiness sector has enough workers while also ensuring the health and safety of Queensland communities.”

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Mr Furner said the Palaszczuk Government was working closely with industry with agriculture playing a vital role in Queensland’s $8 billion plan for economic recovery.

“The community can also be assured that strict quarantine arrangements based on health directions will apply to protect the labour force and Queensland residents,” Mr Furner said. 

“We’ll be ensuring that Australian nationals and permanent residents are priorities for entry into Australia while complying with quarantine requirements.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is progressing arrangements with Queensland Health and other state and federal agencies and is also liaising with industry.”

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