Territory farmers are celebrating after the Agriculture Visa was signed into law by the Governor General. The new visa will enable farmers to employ a range of skilled workers from the ASEAN region.
“NT Farmers and the industry have actively campaigned for an Ag Visa for roughly a decade, it will greatly assist to support agriculture in the Territory.’ Mr Paul Burke said, CEO of NT Farmers Association.
‘NT Farmers would welcome the opportunity to host a pilot Ag Visa program in the Northern Territory. The industry’s proximity to the region, climatic similarity and experience with the Seasonal Worker Program makes the region perfectly suited to testing the Ag Visa.’
‘NT Farmers can play a key role in supporting the pilot program. The Association was instrumental in restarting the Seasonal Worker Program after COVID-19 shut down international borders. The agriculture industry in the Territory will immediately benefit from additional workers to help grow the sector.’
‘The visa will complement the Seasonal Worker Program and provide another option for farmers in the extremely tight labour market. It is about providing flexibility to farmers to draw upon a range of workers including Australians and Ag Visa holders.’
‘There will always be jobs for hard working Australians on Territory farms, additional workers from overseas will help to fill vacant roles especially during harvest season.’
‘Under the visa, workers will have the same rights, pay rate and protections as any other worker. Strict regulation and compliance requirements will be put in place to ensure the fair and equal treatment of workers.’
‘Ag Visa workers will play a critical role in helping to grow the value of our NT plant based industries to $1 billion by 2030. The visa provides a long term and reliable workforce for Territory farmers.” Mr Burke said.
Source: NT Farmers