1 June 2022

AUSVEG, Australia’s peak industry body for vegetable and potato growers, has welcomed the Government’s appointment of Senator Murray Watt as the new Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

“On behalf of the vegetable and potato industries, AUSVEG welcomes Senator Murray Watt’s appointment as the Federal Agriculture Minister,” said AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote.

“We look forward to working constructively with Minister Watt and with the wider Labor Government to support the Australian vegetable and potato industries as they face an increasing number of on-farm and business challenges and look to capitalise on emerging opportunities for the industry to grow and advance in the years ahead.

“It is important that we provide Australia’s fruit and vegetable growers with the support and opportunities that they need to continue to supply high-quality fresh produce to local and international consumers so that they can build their businesses to support themselves, their families and their communities.”

“It has been a tough few years for many Australian growers, as issues such as labour shortages, input cost increases, floods and other weather events that are impacting farms, property and regional towns and services,” said Mr Coote.

“The Australian agriculture industry is fortunate to have many strong and passionate advocates that are committed to supporting the industry and the many thousands of workers that contribute to regional businesses and their communities.

“Ensuring the Australian Agriculture Visa meets the needs of producers is a high priority for the industry. The Ag Visa was designed to be a long-term structural change for the industry to access a more efficient and effective workforce and reduce its reliance on working holiday makers.

“Labor’s plan for the Ag Visa leading into the election will limit the pool of workers to those that the industry already had access to through existing seasonal worker programs. We will be engaging with Minister Watt and the Albanese Government to advocate strongly for the Ag Visa to be expanded to increase the pool of workers available to fruit and vegetable growers as a high priority.

“I look forward to working with Minister Watt, and the Albanese Government to help realise the potential for our industry to thrive into the future, particularly on ensuring our industry has access to a reliable, efficient and accessible workforce, and a robust biosecurity system.”


Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au