North West Central candidate Merome Beard has said the Federal Government needs to deliver substantial reform to address workforce shortages. Ideas to allow veterans and pensioners to earn money without losing their entitlements and reinstating the Ag visa should not be off the table, otherwise Australians’ food will be.
Merome said dire workforce shortages had made it almost impossible for the region’s produce to reach markets and had put a handbrake on local small businesses and industries.
“The Gascoyne is home to some of the nation’s best growers, fishers and producers, but this critical workforce shortage our state is suffering has made it almost impossible for our region’s produce to reach the mouths and markets it is grown for.” she said.
“The Federal Nationals delivered the Ag Visa when in government and the Gascoyne is an area that would welcome workers with open arms. Any reforms to allow veterans and pensioners the right to take on extra hours without losing pension payments. This is just common sense.
Federal Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud, will be representing regional Australia at an upcoming jobs summit in Canberra and said the Labor Government has robbed regional Australia of an opportunity to grow.
“The Ag Visa was also about creating the next wave of migration to regional Australia.
“There was no need to start from scratch on this. The Ag Visa was going to help shift the dial on cost-of-living pressures.” Mr Littleproud said.
“In Opposition, Labor were aware of the workforce shortage. Yet when they came to Government they were given a solution, an agreement was already in place, yet they made a decision to side with the AWU and tear it up.”