Tasmania open to Pacific workers

Tasmania rejects national code but signs up for Pacific workers

WORKER PLANS: Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state's absolute top priority was to get as many locals possible to fill seasonal agricutural positions.

WORKER PLANS: Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the state's absolute top priority was to get as many locals possible to fill seasonal agricutural positions.


Contingency plans being made for "harvest ready" workforce.


The Tasmanian government has opened the door for international workers, stranded on the mainland, to return to the state to help with the upcoming berry harvest.

While continuing its push to encourage Tasmanians to fill positions that would have been taken by backpackers, Premier Peter Gutwein also flagged seasonal workers, from the Pacific Islands, could be allowed back in to the state.

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Many seasonal workers have been stuck on the mainland, since the last Tasmanian harvest ended, as they couldn't go home due to travel restrictions.

"Our absolute top priority is to get as many Tasmanians as possible to fill these positions,' Mr Gutwein said.

"We're also working with the industry and Public Health to ensure that there are contingency plans in place for a harvest-ready workforce to allow in essential workers when we need to meet demand.

"This would be achieved under COVID-safe processes between states and, importantly, public health officials are working through details of this to ensure our industry has the appropriate supports it needs during the season."

Mr Gutwein said the state had formally expressed interest in opting into the federal government's Seasonal Worker Program.

"At the same time both DPIPWE and DPAC are actively engaged with public health to facilitate the safe movement of people from non-affected areas of mainland Australia and understand the best model for quarantine arrangements."

Tasmania has not signed up for the National Agricultural Workers Movement Code.

Border restrictions in Tasmania are based on the locations travellers have spent time in during the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania.

Mr Gutwein said at a time when university students and Tasmanians weren't traveling abroad, there was a great opportunity to earn some money and save for when travel opportunities again arise.

"We'll continue to manage the entry to our state whilst our borders are closed through the essential worker arrangements, but very clearly, what we want to see are as many Tasmanians as possible put their hand up for those jobs that are available," he said.

"There are significant numbers of jobs available, and we would hope that they will take that opportunity.

"There has never been a better for Tasmanians in need of work to roll the sleeves up and help our vital primary industries, while gaining new skills and experience in the process."

Mr Gutwein said there were hundreds of jobs available ahead of the upcoming planting, production and harvest seasons, and Tasmanians were being prioritised for jobs in the industry.

"This is a great opportunity for Tasmanians to earn hundreds of dollars a week, while gaining valuable skills and experience."

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