New ag visa secures future workforce

The new Agricultural Visa will provide long-term, reliable workforce in the agricultural industry. Photo: Pass the Honey /Unsplash

A new Agricultural Worker Visa is expected to solve one of the greatest challenges facing regional Australia in recent history.

The visa, which will provide long term, reliable workforce for the agricultural industry, will be in place by the end of September 2021.

Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said he was incredibly proud to be part of the government that had fought for and delivered for regional communities.

The full implementation of the demand-driven visa would be complete within three years.

“The visa will be open to applicants from a range of countries and will be available to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“It will include meat processing, fisheries and forestry sectors and provide a basis for the ongoing growth of our primary industries.”

Mr O’Dowd said this visa would greatly assist the agricultural industry as their plan out their future workforce needs.

“We’ve listened to our communities and our industries, and this is what they’ve asked for. This will also help keep our next generation in Flynn knowing that the future of regional Australia is bright and prosperous,” he said.

Agricultural minister and member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said the agricultural workforce shortage had been a major issue during covid-19.

“While our farmers and industries have gone about their work keeping Australians and the world fed and clothed, they have done so under workforce constraints,” he said.

“With the changes to the Working Holiday Maker program following the UKFTA, the Government knew this was the time to put the agriculture visa in place.

“This is a structural change to the agricultural workforce. It gives our farmers a confidence to know they can go and plant a crop and know that they’ll be able to get it off.”

“It will complement the Pacific programs we have got in place, and we will also be considering permanent residency options under the new Ag visa.”