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Prince Pinch Blamed on Labor’s Labour Plan

Prince Pinch Blamed on Labor’s Labour Plan


Prince Pinch Blamed on Labor’s Labour Plan

Article by: Hari Yellina

David Littleproud, the leader of the Nationals, is blaming worker shortages for Labor’s decision to abandon the fledgeling agriculture-specific visa programme of the Morrison-Joyce administration amid extraordinary problems with the fruit and vegetable supply chain and warnings that crops risk rotting on fields. However, the new Albanese administration, which is extending the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM) to approximately 60,000 employees who, it advises, are ready to fly in from the Pacific, vigorously rejects claims of increased labour shortages in the agriculture sector. Instead of South East Asia, the Pacific Islands are the focus of Labor’s farm visa proposal.

Produce like cucumbers, tomatoes, and berries are now expected to experience sudden and large price spikes, according to industry group Ausveg, which is warning of persistent supply concerns for up to 16 weeks. The Labor move to revoke the Agricultural Visa, according to Mr. Littleproud, who also serves as the opposition’s spokesman for agriculture, is a concern for farmers and, by extension, consumers. Flooding has been a short-term problem, but long-term, the agricultural sector lacks investment confidence because it doesn’t believe that the largest long-term obstacle to the sector, a lack of labour, is being addressed. The main issue is that every Australian already recognises it.

“They should always see the Australian Labor Party at the top of the docket when they go to the checkout. “Because they are currently pressuring farmers to make investment decisions not to plant, which means supply goes down, which means their prices go up, which is on their schedule every time they walk to the checkout,” the author explains. Murray Watt, the agriculture minister, claimed that a multitude of factors, including labour shortages, contribute to price increases. Agriculture, like many other sectors, is suffering from a severe lack of workers, according to Mr. Watt. “This issue is not new, but the Morrison administration neglected to address it. With his proposed ag visa, David Littleproud spent years promising farmers.  but it didn’t deliver a single farm worker.”

After years of being a top priority of the Nationals, the first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Ag Visa Program was only signed last March with Vietnam. Prior to the election, no Vietnamese labourers had arrived in the nation, and the Labor party pledged to create a new agriculture stream inside the already-existing PALM scheme. The incoming administration is taking steps to lower up-front expenses for businesses, cut red tape “without jeopardising worker safeguards,” and permit long-term visa holders in the programme to sponsor their partners and children for immigration. “The Pacific scheme has been available to us for well over a year at this point. And that creates competitive pressures in sectors of the economy other than agriculture. It has not been successful, “Mr Littleproud said.