Farm businesses could benefit from the Federal Government's announcement to extend working holiday maker and other visas to support regional communities.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud says the visa changes will allow Pacific seasonal workers, working holiday makers and a range of other visa holders to continue to work in regional Victoria until the coronavirus pandemic has passed or they can return to their home countries.
"Agriculture is an essential sector and relies on temporary visa holders, many of whom arrive and depart Australia on a seasonal basis," Mr Littleproud said.
"These visa holders fill a critical workforce gap in this sector."
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson says visa extensions are one way that the government was giving regional Victorian farmers critical support.
"There's been a significant number of Australians who have lost their jobs due to the economic impacts of coronavirus, but the government is ensuring that won't be the case in regional Victoria," she said.
Agriculture is an essential sector and relies on temporary visa holders, many of whom arrive and depart Australia on a seasonal basisDavid Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture
The visa extensions will ensure regional Victorian businesses have the skills to protect their interests and maximise their profits, Ms Henderson said.
The National Farmers Federation has developed best practice guidance for farmers regarding requirements for accommodation and working arrangements for farm workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have asked the chief medical officer to review these guidelines and it is critical they are then considered by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee," Mr Littleproud said.
The Federal Government last week announced the $130 million JobKeeper payment to help around 6 million workers receive a $1500 fortnightly payment through their employer due to coronavirus.
The JobKeeper payment and other coronavirus-related legislation will be brought before Parliament on Wednesday.
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