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Is the new agriculture visa all it’s cracked up to be? The jury is still out

Is the new agriculture visa all it’s cracked up to be? The jury is still out

It’s going to grab a meat employee practically 15 minutes to rep one steak from a carcass. 

For one in all Australia’s ideally suited beef corporations, which manner hiring practically one employee for every and every animal that is processed.

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In other phrases, it’s labour intensive.

While a good deal of Australians like drinking meat, it seems there are no longer sufficient Aussies who journey processing it, and it has turn into an industry extremely reliant on migrant workers.

The agriculture visa is intended to rep an opportunity for workers in farming, fisheries, forestry and meat processing to grab up expert and un-expert jobs that can’t be filled domestically.

The government says this can grab into consideration making the new visa a pathway to permanent residency, but that is no guarantee.

There’s also no guarantee there’ll be any workers to grab up the visa given, to date, no worldwide locations hold signed up to the program.

The government is inform to occupy bilateral talks with worldwide locations that can perchance well fair be interesting and safe out what they might perchance well build a question to of the visa in return.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has previously instructed the UK – which no longer too lengthy in the past withdrew a 10,000 backpacker per-year group of workers as piece of commerce negotiations — and ASEAN worldwide locations as targets for the visa.

Grain growers, determined for workers that can perchance feature specialist equipment, hope North American and European worldwide locations will also agree.

These negotiations will decide distinguished about how the visa will work.

Flight caps next main hurdle

Once that is nutted out, the success of the visa will all count upon the skill of workers to rep admission to flights.

Below contemporary flight caps, true 3,000 folks are allowed into Australia each and per week.

Effect no longer neglect there are Australians who can’t rep residence – tens of hundreds of them.

Assuming the flight issue will also be overcome, quarantine is an practically insurmountable hurdle in Australia honest now.

According to Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, Mr Littleproud is Fury at federal program for folks to come into his inform on the agriculture visa.

While Mr Littleproud might perchance well grab consolation that Mr Andrews actually believes there’ll be workers on the visa knocking on the door soon, the Queenslander turned into as soon as swiftly to level out that the Premier at the moment has his hands chubby confirming quarantine for Pacific Island workers, already licensed for work in Victoria.

David Littleproud speaks after National leadership spill

David Littleproud has been the one out and about selling the new visa.(

ABC News: Matt Roberts


There’s no shortage of tit-for-tat.

The quarantine of ag workers is one in a lengthy line of battlefronts between the states and the Commonwealth over its going thru of the pandemic.

It might perchance well perchance well fair hold been misplaced in some reporting of this week’s announcement but it absolutely’s  notable to mumble the “chubby conditions [of the agriculture visa] will most doubtless be developed and applied over the next three years as the visa is operationalised”.

And sure, fully the government would exercise a note like “operationalise”.

More unknowns than knowns

So, what elevate out we all know about the visa? It’ll be operated and overseen by the Division of International Affairs and Alternate.

But what’s still unknown is how carefully the new visa might perchance well resemble existing Pacific labour programs, or what safeguards will most doubtless be build in inform to make sure that it doesn’t undermine those programs.

The ag visa turned into as soon as introduced in an announcement co-signed by International Minister Marise Payne and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Mr Littleproud.

A middle aged woman with blonde hair and a blue collared shirt stands in a field with cattle in the background.

Nationwide Farmers’ Federation Fiona Simson had doubts the visa would ever happen.(

Supplied: Fiona Simson


It turned into as soon as Mr Littleproud who turned into as soon as out selling the visa this week.

The Nationals deputy chief says by initially the utilization of a subsection of the pre-existing 403 visa, foreigners will hold their boots on the ground after September 30, despite the indisputable truth that he “is cautious no longer to build an precise date when we are going to survey the first workers”.

He also might perchance well fair no longer build a bunch on how many workers are anticipated to grab up the visa, selecting a “question-pushed formula”.

Again, it is unclear how that will most doubtless be measured.

It’s advanced to know how optimistic that is, but the horticulture sector on my own says it desires higher than 20,000 extra workers for this summer’s harvest.

There are extra questions to be answered about the portability of workers if and when they arrive, and the Opposition is making an attempt to safe assurances that workers from international might perchance well fair no longer be exploited.

But for now, the vogue of the agriculture visa is a mountainous grab for the Nationals.

Farmers hold been calling for it since 2016 and Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked about he supported it in 2018, lengthy sooner than COVID-19 causes farm work shortfall the stress on the farm group of workers.

Some Coalition divided over new agriculture visa, and farmers had practically given up on the prospect of a new visa, when Mr Littleproud seized an opportunity on the sidelines of the UK commerce deal, true days sooner than Michael McCormack turned into as soon as sacked as Nationals chief earlier this year.

This week, she believed it.

For those willing to look past the next harvest and past the pandemic, there is the chance that the agriculture visa might perchance well present precise, notable exchange across the farm sector.

There’s a bunch of steak to hit the plate sooner than that occurs.

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Is the new agriculture visa all it’s cracked up to be? The jury is still out