Farm visa slaves to jump queue ahead of stranded Aussies

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says foreign workers could start arriving in Australia by November to address a chronic labour shortage in the nation’s agricultural sector.

The new industry-specific Agricultural Visa program took effect on 30 September, although the federal government has yet to finalise any bilateral agreements with other nations.

Littleproud says the states and territories should consider allowing recipients of the visas to quarantine on the farms where they will work.

From The Australian:

“It just makes sense. This is the way to bring in workers we desperately need,” [David Littleproud] said.

“We need the state’s chief health officers to make that leap of faith. The leap is not far but it will make a great difference”…

The new visa will be extended beyond horticulture to provide extra workers for the meat processing, fisheries and forestry sectors. It will apply to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers for a three-year period.

The government will introduce legislation to provide visa holders with a pathway to permanent residency.

The most concerning aspect of these so-called agricultural visas is that they will provide pathways for permanent residency for the visa holders provided they pledge to become indentured with an employer for at least three years.

These workers are mainly unskilled and they are coming to work in what has been demonstrated to be Australia’s most exploitative industry. Australian farms have also flat-out refused to employ local workers because they have to be paid a legal wage and are far less easy to exploit than migrants.

These visa holders will be on low pay and they will have little opportunity for advancement. So, if they are provided permanent residency they will leave the agricultural industry and gravitate towards the larger population centres in search of higher wages and to be closer to other members of their own ethnic community.

The lack of thought that has gone into these ‘Agricultural Visas’ has laid the groundwork for another Coalition immigration debacle.

Bringing in farm workers while more than 45,000 Australians lay stranded abroad and seeking government help to return home is also unconscionable.

Many of these abandoned Australians have been unable to return due to hard caps on quarantine places as well as the extortionate cost and lack of availability of flights.

Those citizens that have made it home have been slugged $10,000 each for flights as well as $3,000 for their quarantine stays.

The fact that the Morrison Government has prioritised temporary visa holders over actual Australian citizens is an outright disgrace and is further evidence of its deep ingrained corruption.

It’s first duty is to look after the welfare of Australians.

Unconventional Economist

Comments

  1. Drove around Carnarvon recently- a peak agricultural growing area in WA – and without exception every farm had huge signs out saying “No Work! Don’t Ask!” making it explicitly clear they were not looking to hire locals, looking for work.

    My assumption being they had hired a quota of workers at cheap price overseas, and were not interested in any pesky locals looking for a job. Seeing the signs was also eye-opening in terms of the rhetoric of a “worker shortage”.

    • Sounds about right. I am currently stuck in the UK and employers are pulling the same tactics here. They are crying poor to the government to get a special deal on truck drivers, or crop pickers (they snook many thousands in from the 3rd world but made no mention of it) The farmers do everything in their power to make it difficult for a UK worker to be employed and for the same reasons as Aus, They might have to pay them and not claw 50% back in accommodation (a shared caravan) etc.
      As for getting back to Aus. I need to get back to seriously ageing family but then come back to the UK after that but current cost is going to be around £9K or maybe more including quarantine costs.

  2. Jumping jack flash

    Farmers are people like everyone else, and people need debt. Gargantuan piles of it! Massive loads of debt obtained as quickly as possible. Debt is certainly essential to maintain the lifestyle that is expected.

    Most importantly the people need to be eligible for the debt they need, and the way to do that is with income maximisation.

    What better way to maximise income in the short term so they can grab the debt they need, than by stealing someone else’s wages? There’s no better or quicker way, other than from someone handing you a pile of debt..

    Never mind the fact that if the farmers paid their lowly slaves a decent wage then those workers will be able to participate in the economy and consume, and that money would soon head back to these farmers’ pockets in the form of increased revenue. But don’t worry about that, because debt is absolutely essential and it is needed NAOW!!!

  3. Frank DrebinMEMBER

    Just wait until the Indian FTA gets signed as a pre-election puff piece, then you will really see the floodgates open !!.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      I worked briefly at a fairly large foreign owned company in Australia that had a clique of Indian Tech that clearly preferred hiring Indians. I was hired by one of the few anglo IT managers. It was a bizarre place to work. Still got my contract extended but left before the end of it for a bunch of reasons. Most wasteful place I have seen. IT projects stood up on a whim.

  4. The q-jumping is on, at an industrial scale. According to the “2020-21 Migration Program Report”, 52,000 persons won permanent visas, from outside of Australia. How many actually landed during that time? Who knows, the Report doesn’t say.