JULIE COLLINS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE
MEMBER FOR FRANKLIN
CHIEF OPPOSITION WHIP IN THE SENATE
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
The Morrison Government must step up and provide more leadership as fresh reports detail significant and costly labour shortages on Tassie farms.
Instead of trying to shift blame, Tasmania’s Liberal representatives, including Gavin Pearce, should be picking up the phone and working to sort this issue out now.
The Morrison Government has been very quick to blame others for farm labour shortages, but producers in Tasmania just want some action.
The cost of crop losses across the country has already reached $45 million. Farmers want the federal, state and territory governments to work together to fix this.
Senator Anne Urqurhart said the Federal government response has been pathetic.
“It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of seasonal work in Tasmania,” Senator Urquhart said.
“Mr Pearce can’t hide from the consequences of his hopeless inaction - fruit rotting on trees and farmers losing income.
“Mr Pearce is clearly unable to comprehend the needs of local fruit-growers in particular. He has known for months that they need workers right now.
“Mr Pearce and Minister Littleproud are prepared to leave desperate fruit growers without workers. They have abandoned local farmers and left it too late to take meaningful action.”
Julie Collins said it’s time Minister David Littleproud took responsibility for this issue and showed some leadership.
“The Morrison Government has failed to take responsibility for labour shortages. Farmers just want this fixed,” Ms Collins said.
“Minister Littleproud and the Nationals are more interested in shameless politicking than showing leadership for Australian farmers.
“Restrictions related to COVID-19 have highlighted longstanding issues in Australia’s agriculture workforce, which is why action is needed now.
The Morrison Government must do better for Aussie farmers and consumers.”