Farm businesses across Farrer stand to benefit from the Australian Government’s decision to extend working holiday maker and other visas amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Local MP Sussan Ley said the visa changes will allow Pacific seasonal workers, working holiday makers and a range of other visa holders (who are unable to depart Australia) to continue to work until this virus has passed.
The agriculture sector is essential across the electorate and Australian citizens can register their in interest in farm work at jobsearch.gov.au. But the industry also relies on temporary visa holders, many of whom arrive and depart Australia on a seasonal basis.
“Our government is putting temporary measures in place to allow workers already here to extend their stay and remain lawfully in Australia until they are able to return to their home country.
“It remains critical we manage this labour force to support the on-going health of regional communities, and we’ve acted to include requirements to ensure visa holders follow self-isolation requirements when they move between regions.
“We are working closely with the NSW government to ensure appropriate health controls are in place for the ongoing health and well-being of regional communities”, Ms Ley said.
The National Farmers Federation has developed best practice guidance for farmers regarding requirements for accommodation and working arrangements for farm workers (either domestic or migrant) during the covid-19 outbreak.
Before moving to other parts of the country, working holiday makers will need to self-isolate for 14 days and register at the Australia.gov.au website. Those who do not comply will face having their visas cancelled.
The Chief Medical Officer will review these guidelines which will then be considered by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
In addition to agriculture the Australian Government is supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work across a variety of roles through our Jobs Hub.