AUSVEG Canberra delegation

Last week AUSVEG headed to Canberra to advocate on behalf of growers for practical solutions to the horticulture’s labour challenge.

AUSVEG Chair Bill Bulmer, Deputy Chair Belinda Adams, CEO James Whiteside and National Public Affairs Manager Tyson Cattle met with:

  • Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie
  • Minister for Immigration David Coleman
  • Assistant Minister for Regional Development Nola Marino
  • Member for Mallee Anne Webster
  • Shadow Minister for Immigration Kristina Keneally
  • Victorian Senator Raff Ciccone, and
  • the offices of the Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter and Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash.

What AUSVEG advocated for:

  1. Improved information for backpackers, allowing for them to make informed decisions about where they choose to work in horticulture
  2. The introduction of a Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement
  3. The introduction of a National Labour Hire Licencing Scheme
L-R: Tyson Cattle, Senator Raff Ciccone, Bill Bulmer and Belinda Adams.
L-R: Tyson Cattle, Shadow Minister for Immigration Kristina Keneally, Bill Bulmer, Belinda Adams.
L-R: Tyson Cattle, James Whiteside, Assistant Minister for Regional Development Nola Marino, Belinda Adams, Bill Bulmer.
L-R: James Whiteside, Belinda Adams, Minister for Immigration David Coleman, Bill Bulmer, Tyson Cattle.


It was a busy few days in Canberra during ‘Ag Week’ as AUSVEG representatives also attended the National Farmers’ Federations 40th Anniversary Dinner and the ABC Rural and Kondinin Group Farmer of the Year Awards.

This year’s Farmer of the Year was none other than Tasmania’s own Gerard and Susie Daly. Congratulations to the Dalys for this well-deserved award.


Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement

Over the past six months, AUSVEG has been working on developing a case for a Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement.

With endorsement from the National Farmers’ Federation Horticulture Council, AUSVEG has been consulting with a number of growers and horticulture industry bodies, as well as various government departments to develop an agreement to allow growers around Australia to have greater access to a semi-skilled and skilled workforce.

AUSVEG advocated that horticulture is a developed and skilled industry with significant growth potential, and requires access to an efficient, reliable and competent workforce.

Feedback from various Ministers was extremely positive, and AUSVEG will continue to work with government to get the best outcome for growers.

If you have any feedback or comments regarding skilled shortages in your business, growers are encouraged to get in contact with AUSVEG National Public Affairs Manager Tyson Cattle at

Awards in Action sessions

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is holding its next ‘Awards in Action’ sessions over the next couple of months. These sessions are aimed at providing clarity over changes to the Horticulture Award, as well as an opportunity for growers to provide feedback to the FWO about piecework arrangements.

To register for any of the below sessions simply email

Lockyer Valley
Wednesday 30 October 2019 (from 3:30pm to 5:30pm)
Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre
34 Lake Apex Drive, Gatton, QLD

Coffs Harbour
Wednesday 20 November 2019 (from 3:30pm to 5:30pm)
Coffs Harbour Racing Club and Function Centre, Howard Street

Wednesday 04 December 2019 (from 3:30pm to 5:30pm)
Quality Hotel Parklake, 481 Wyndham Street

If growers have any questions about how to understand or interpret the Horticulture Award, they are encouraged to contact the FWO on 13 13 94.

Inquiry into growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030

AUSVEG has welcomed the inquiry into growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.

Horticulture production is set to play a significant role in achieving that goal with unadjusted estimated horticulture’s value will increase by 33 per cent in that time.

AUSVEG’s submission to the inquiry can be found here.

ABARES Demand for Farm Workers report

AUSVEG also recently did various media following the release of the ABARES Demand for Farm Workers report.

AUSVEG reinforced the need for growers to be able to access an efficient, reliable and competent workforce to be able to drive the industry forward. AUSVEG’s press release can be found here.

Other helpful links –

A reminder to have your say on the Horticulture Award – Overtime for Casuals survey – the link can be found here.


For more information, contact AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Tyson Cattle at, or at 03 9882 0277.