House debates

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Statements by Members

Nicholls Electorate: Employment

1:46 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I rise in support of three local government councils in my electorate of Nicholls, and local businesses as well. The City of Greater Shepparton, the Campaspe Shire and the Moira Shire are working together for a designated area migration agreement. Business owners and managers, whether they are large or small employers or small businesses, across Nicholls are constantly raising with me the problem that they are having in securing employees. Last week, while speaking at an agribusiness forum in Bendigo, we were presented with similar scenarios right around regional Victoria.

These positions range from skilled jobs such as food technicians and engineers and healthcare professionals through to diesel mechanics, boilermakers, electricians, truck drivers and less skilled jobs like fruit picking and packing and abattoir workers. This is putting the handbrake on business growth and productivity, which affects everybody in the region.

Whilst the Warrnambool region already has a DAMA, these councils are working with the Department of Home Affairs to bring one to the Goulburn Valley. Two weeks ago, a survey was sent out across the region and they got a very clear picture of how big this problem is. Significant responses have already been submitted. The closing date for these submissions for businesses is 7 November. I strongly encourage all employers in the region to put their submissions in, to make sure that a DAMA will become a priority for the Goulburn Valley and so that we will get an opportunity to fill the skills gap that we currently have.