Labor drives up cost of living again by cancelling worker program for farms

05 July 2024

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud is warning Labor is once again making it harder to get food from paddock to plate, by axing a crucial backpacker and worker program for farms.

Mr Littleproud said Labor’s scrapping of the harvest trail program after June 30 meant farmers would find it even harder to get the workers they need.

 “The essential program helped connect farmers with thousands of backpackers and jobseekers during the harvest period, or the harvest trail,” Mr Littleproud said.

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 “It also helped both employers and employees get a background check, enabling confidence in both the job and the industry. 

“However, Labor is once again showing contempt for the farming industry by removing the Harvest Trail Services and Harvest Trail Information Service, to save $47.3 million and $11.1 million per year ongoing.

 “This money won’t even be directed back into agriculture. The pain will be felt at the checkout because when supply goes down, prices go up.

Read more: Primary Employers Tasmania, 2 July 2024 Newsletter

 “The fewer workers farmers can find, the less they can plant, or harvest, meaning families will pay more for their food at the checkout.

” Wide Bay pineapple farmer Col Hawken said Labor was again hurting the farming industry.

 “I think it’s disgusting that we are losing the program,” Mr Hawken said.

 “If we have a system like the harvest trail, we can get background checks, ensuring we get the workers we actually need. It also stops backpackers from getting ripped off too. 

“This was a really useful program that Labor is abolishing with very little notice. Labor doesn’t understand that farmers plan two and three years out. There is no alternative scheme to replace it. There is just nothing. Labor has zero regards for primary producers and is determined to make life harder.

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