Agricultural employers and industries will benefit from the Australian Government’s expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme from primarily horticulture to the broader agricultural sector.

Announced today, these changes increase the types of low and unskilled jobs included under the Programme.

“The Seasonal Worker Programme has been highly effective in helping local businesses overcome seasonal labour shortages and I’m pleased that, where necessary, employers in a range of agriculture industries including cattle, sheep, grain and mixed enterprises will now be able to apply to be part of the Seasonal Worker Programme,” said Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley.

The Seasonal Worker Programme assists Australian employers unable to find enough local Australian workers to meet seasonal labour needs and contributes to the economic development of Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste.

Ms Ley said that employers must fully test the local job market before they can apply to recruit workers under the Programme.

“Farming businesses in particular will benefit in regional areas where labour can be in short supply during peak periods. While we are determined to ensure businesses across Australia have access to the seasonal workers they need, we are equally determined that no Australian misses out on a job,” said Ms Ley.

Workers brought in by employers are subject to the same workplace relations and work health and safety safeguards as Australian job seekers.

Since 1 July 2012, over 8600 visas have been issued to people under the Programme to support the seasonal labour needs of around 70 approved employers.

To apply to recruit seasonal workers visit:

For more information about the Seasonal Worker Programme visit: