More workers for Regional Australia

Media release
13 Oct 2018
Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations

Our Government is taking action to get people off welfare and into work while backing the needs of farmers for their harvests.

We’re calling on all farmers to report their workforce needs as part of a new initiative to ensure those positions can then be matched with eligible Australian job seekers.

Whilst many Australian farmers are doing it tough right now because of the drought, others are gearing up for a healthy harvest.

Our plan will help tackle farm labour shortages and ensure Australian workers are filling Australian jobs. We want to help job seekers find a great local job, and help farmers find great workers.

This new initiative will:

  • Call on farmers with vacant positions around the country to report their employment needs to the National Harvest Labour Information Service (NHLIS). They’ll be asked about their workforce needs like short-term harvest work as well as vacancy information such as the location of the work, the types of roles to be filled, the number of people they require, the length of time required and the level of payment.
  • Then match job seekers with job opportunities, including through the Government’s jobactive service providers across the country.

Australian taxpayers expect genuine job seekers to be looking for work. If a jobseeker turns down a suitable job offer without reasonable excuse, they will lose their taxpayer funded income support payments for up to 4 weeks.

Our Government will use the information gathered through the NHLIS to better understand Australia’s seasonal labour shortages and to inform potential adjustments to the Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme and Working Holiday Maker visa arrangements in future. That includes ensuring people coming to Australia with work rights can help fill vacancies not taken up by Australian workers.

If you want a go, you’ll get a go, and as part of our plan for a stronger economy, we’re backing our farmers by driving policies to get more people into jobs.

We urge farmers and job seekers to get in touch with the National Harvest Labour Information Service through their national free-call telephone information service call: 1800 062 332 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm EST).