The Nationals have delivered a vital agriculture visa to help secure the future of rural and regional Australia.
The Agricultural Worker Visa will provide a long-term, reliable workforce for our critical industries while solving one of regional Australia’s greatest challenges in recent history.
Leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Leader of The Nationals, David Littleproud said they were incredibly proud to be leaders of the party that has consistently fought and delivered for regional communities.
“The agriculture visa delivers what so many primary producers are crying out for,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.
“It will give regional Australia the workers they need to get produce to plate in Australia, as well as our export markets.
“The agriculture visa will be in place no later than 30 September this year, with the full implementation of this demand-driven visa complete within 3 years.”
The visa will be open to applicants from a range of countries and will be available to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. It will include meat processing, fisheries and forestry sectors, and provide a basis for the ongoing growth of our primary industries.
Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said the agriculture workforce shortage has been a major issue during COVID.
“While our farmers and industries have gone about their work keeping Australians and the world fed and clothed, they have done so under workforce constraints,” Minister Littleproud said.
“With the changes to the Working Holiday Maker program as a result of the UKFTA, The Nationals knew this was the time to get the agriculture visa across the line.
“This is a structural change to the agricultural workforce. It gives our farmers a confidence to plant a crop and know that they’ll be able to get it into the supply chain.
“It will complement the Pacific programs we have got in place but also provide a pathway to permanent residency.
“We’ve listened to our communities and our industries and this is what they’ve asked for.
This will also help keep our next generation in town knowing that the future of regional Australia is bright and prosperous.”