Pacific workers to help pick NSW tomatoes

Pacific workers to help pick NSW tomatoes

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Photo: File

Photo: File

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160 workers are urgently needed to help pick the state's $50 million tomato crop.

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Pacific Island workers are being flown into NSW to alleviate a critical labour shortage in the agriculture industry.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the 160 workers from the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu were urgently needed to help pick the state's $50 million tomato crop.

The workers are in addition to the 350 skilled workers approved last month to help fill a labour shortage in NSW abattoirs.

Mr Marshall said the NSW government was doing everything it could to facilitate the arrival of foreign workers to minimise supply chain disruption caused by labour shortages due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions.

The first group of foreign workers would arrive on Wednesday, Mr Marshall said.

"Once they have completed quarantine, they will be able to travel to our regional centres and take up their roles in our abattoirs," he said on Wednesday.

"By helping to facilitate the arrival of these foreign workers, we are helping to take pressure off the supply chain to make sure everyone can enjoy a Christmas roast," he said.

The charter flights and quarantine arrangements are being funded by industry.

Australian Associated Press

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