Back in May, the Government “streamlined” its existing initiative to provide financial assistance to workers relocating for short-term harvest jobs, providing a timely boost to Queensland’s farm workforce.
The Government said that since then, more than 3,600 AgMove agreements have been struck for people to relocate to another area for short-term harvest jobs. Of these, almost 1,400 were for agricultural work in Queensland.
"It’s no secret that this pandemic has impacted our ability to mobilise the much-needed short-term workforce for harvest season. That’s why we launched this initiative late last year," said Stuart Robert, Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business.
"We also listened to industry calls to streamline eligibility requirements to ensure workers received a helping hand to get to where they are needed most, faster."
Under an AgMove agreement, workers need to complete 40 hours of agricultural work over a two-week period to be able to claim some initial expenses of up to $2,000 for Australian citizens and $650 for eligible visa holders. The reimbursement entitlements jump to $6,000 for Australian workers and $2,000 for temporary visa holders if they complete 120 hours in a minimum four-week period.
Almost a quarter of the AgMove agreements were approved for Australian job seekers eligible to claim up to the maximum $6,000 reimbursement, showing that many have been willing to work past the minimum period.
Minister Robert added that they also recently announced the first stage of reforms to its labour mobility programs for Pacific workers under the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Programme.