MEDIA RELEASE Monday 23 August 2021
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes the introduction of the Australian Agriculture Visa, announced today by the Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud.
The Australian Agricultural Visa is in response to workforce issues the agricultural sector has faced over the past five years. The announcement comes at a critical time for red meat and pork meat processors who are facing unprecedented labour shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. The visa promises to provide extra workers for the meat processing sector.
The new visa, which commences on 30 September 2021, applies to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers for a 3-year period and will provide a pathway to permanent residency or regional settlement for visa holders, something that AMIC has been enthusiastically advocating for since the announcement of this new Visa class.
“AMIC welcomes the announcement of the Ag Visa and applauds Minister Littleproud for working with our members, Australia’s beef, sheep, goat and pork processors, and smallgoods manufacturers, in understanding the challenges the industry faces in recruiting staff into our sector. This is an issue we have been working on with the government, to find a mutually beneficial solution, for some time,” said AMIC CEO, Patrick Hutchinson.
“The decrease in access to workers, particularly in rural and regional communities has had a large impact on our red meat, pork and smallgoods processing plants, so we welcome this news and look forward to the next steps.”
“It is important for this visa to be flexible and multi-faceted, to address workforce issues across the entire agricultural sector, which we are pleased to see this visa will do.”
“AMIC is looking forward to continuing to work with Government on the implementation phase of the Australian Agriculture Visa to support our members,” said Mr Hutchinson.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Catharine Heffernan, General Manager, Communications