Member for Moore Shane Love MLA says the Labor Government’s regional worker incentives won’t stretch far enough to help many businesses in Moore struggling under COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Love said while the Government had to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide assistance for the agriculture sector, there wasn’t any help for other industries facing chronic workforce shortages.
“I am concerned for the fruit and vegetable growers in Moore who have perishable crops to harvest,” he said.
“Haulage companies are warning there won’t be enough drivers to transport goods while hospitality venues and retailers are restricting opening times without workers they need.
“The Labor Government has forgotten about many of our local businesses and their futures are in jeopardy without a plan to increase regional workforces.”
Mr Love said the regional worker incentives announced by the Minister for Agriculture didn’t help farmers and growers whose seasons will be compromised by a shortage of skilled workers.
“The Nationals strongly support the hard border as a means to keep COVID-19 out of the State but exemptions were always part of the process to ensure businesses – and the economy – kept ticking over,” he said.
“However, the Labor Government has let many sectors down by its haphazard planning and inability to develop a gateway to get skilled employees into State.”
Leader Mia Davies said industry and The Nationals WA had been raising the worker shortage issue with Government since March to little or no avail.
“The $3 million package to lure workers to an agricultural sector worth $10 billion was miserly and may be too little, too late,” she said.
“There are nearly 1500 fly-in fly-out workers coming in and out of the State to service the mining sector, and now industry is asking for more assistance to meet their workforce requirements.
“Yet when it comes to helping agriculture the Government sits on its hands and avoids finding a gateway for essential staff.”
More information on the scheme here: https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/regional-workers-scheme