Seasonal worker programme expands (inc. Dairy)
The Australian Government has announced further expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP), from primarily horticulture to the broader agricultural sector.
The SWP provides approved employers with access to seasonal workers from Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste for up to 6 months and up to 9 months for workers recruited from Kiribati, Nauru or Tuvalu.
Seasonal workers may return in following seasons, providing employers with access to a returning reliable and productive workforce.
Critical safeguards are built into the programme, including trying to recruit local jobseekers. Workers brought in by employers are subject to the same workplace relations and work health and safety safeguards as Australian job seekers.
Some of the tasks seasonal workers can undertake on a farm include feeding and watering, assisting with animal husbandry (e.g. drenching, needling), operating basic farm machinery with appropriate training as required, fencing, cleaning, weed and pest control. On a dairy farm, this includes herding and milking cows.