Labor laws choking Yarra Valley farmers
Friday, 18 October 2019
Local Yarra Valley farming businesses are at risk due to new regulatory burdens imposed by the Andrews Labor Government.
Fruit and vegetable growers are heavily reliant on seasonal labour, sourced through trusted labour hire services, to ensure quality produce is harvested and delivered to market on time.
While local fruit and vegetable growers are making every effort to comply with new labour hire laws, the State Government’s Labour Hire Authority has lagged behind processing license applications, having approved a mere 100 licences leaving behind a massive backlog totalling over 1,600 pending applications.
Farmers are increasingly worried that they will not be able to source labour as we enter a very busy time, with potential devastating impact to their businesses. The new laws come in to effect on 30 October 2019.
In the Victorian Parliament on 17 October 2019, Bridget Vallence MP, Liberal Member for Evelyn, called on Industrial Relations Minister Tim Pallas to urgently address the massive backlog of licence applications and introduce a ‘grace period’ to ensure our local farming businesses are protected from unfair penalties.
Quotes attributable to Bridget Vallence MP, State Member for Evelyn
“Crops do not stop growing or ripening while the Andrews Government’s Labor Hire Authority lags behind processing applications.”
“The Government’s poor implementation of these new laws puts local fruit and vegetable farmers at risk of significant financial loss if crops cannot be picked, packed and delivered to market on time”.
“Unless the Government’s Labour Hire Authority can streamline the current licencing process in less than two weeks before the new laws come into effect, a ‘grace period’ must be implemented to protect our local growers from unfair penalties.”