Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is calling on Premier Daniel Andrews to bring in more Pacific workers to help address the seasonal farm worker shortage in the Victorian agricultural sector.
Mr Chester wrote to the Premier in December expressing the concerns of farmers and the need to act swiftly but is yet to receive a response.
Mr Chester said if the Premier doesn’t act quickly consumers will see massive crop losses and we will all feel the pain with increased prices for locally grown produce.
“The Premier has struck deals for international tennis players but is failing to help Victorian farmers,” Mr Chester said.
‘We are seeing crops falling to the ground and left to rot and unless urgent action is taken to bolster the seasonal workforce this will only get worse.
“Gippsland growers are frustrated and anxious about the slow progress on current programs that will not alleviate the worker shortage in time for the 2020-21 harvest season.
“The Premier must act now and give Victorian farmers what they deserve, the same access to the workers as their interstate counterparts.”