Victorian growers who wish to access Pacific Island workers from the latest Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) agreement between the Victorian and Tasmanian State Governments, will have to pay $2,000 per worker.

Under the deal, Tasmania will quarantine the 1,500 workers for two weeks before they are allowed onto Victorian farms.

In exchange, Victoria will take Tasmania’s 330-person commitment for returned travellers in Melbourne hotels.

While the Victorian Government will spend $7.8 million to bring the workers in, the overall cost of the workers program will be shared by industry, with the $2,000 per worker fee going towards covering the cost of quarantine in Tasmanian hotels, on top of the usual costs of the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), such as flights and on-farm accommodation.

The State Government will pay the remaining $5,200 of the $7,200 quarantine bill per worker.

Arrangements between the two states have been signed-off and await Federal Government approval, with the first workers expected to arrive in March.

More details about the program are still to be announced, including the determined approvals process.

Read more in this Weekly Times article.