The Western Australian Government has announced its horticulture industry will be able to access more foreign workers to relieve labour shortages, having opted into the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP).

The Federal Government had agreed to set a pathway for State Governments to ‘opt-in’ if they wish to do so. All states have now opted in.

Despite this, there is still a significant amount of work needing to be undertaken from the states before flights can start coming in.

As part of a SWP pilot in the Northern Territory, a second planeload of 160 workers from Vanuatu landed at Darwin last week — seven weeks after the formal reopening of the SWP announcement on 21 August.

Upon landing, these workers still had to quarantine for two weeks.

AUSVEG will continue to lead and drive messages relating to the horticulture industry’s workforce shortfall through Federal and State Governments.