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Farmers scramble to find harvest workers

Michael McLaren

Michael speaks to Matthew Madden, wheat farmer and NSW Farmers Association grain committee chair, regarding enlisting the help of former Australian Defence Force servicemen and women to help harvest bumper crops during the pandemic.

 

Mr Madden said with ongoing border restrictions continuing to limit workforce availability, local workers will need to play more of a role in upcoming grain harvests.

“We’re set for another bumper crop after years of drought, but the NSW grains industry is expected to have a shortfall of around 1000 workers,” Mr Madden said.

“The availability of seasonal workers has dropped drastically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, while inconsistent rules around interstate travel have further reduced confidence in our ability to shore up an adequate workforce in time for harvest.

“We need a timely and successful harvest and the experience of former ADF servicemen and women in areas such as heavy machinery handling will make them ideal candidates for grain harvest roles, many of which are skilled or semi-skilled.”

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Michael McLaren
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