Senate debates

Wednesday, 2 September 2020


Northern Territory: Agriculture Industry

3:38 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I inform the chamber that Senator Ciccone will also sponsor the motion. At the request of Senators McCarthy and Ciccone, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that:

(i) Northern Territory (NT) farmers are at crisis point, facing a shortage of mango pickers for the imminent mango season,

(ii) the NT mango harvest is worth $125 million to the NT economy and plant-based industries combined are worth $355 million,

(iii) the NT is the country's largest grower of mangoes, producing around 52% of the national mango crop,

(iv) between 2,200 and 2,500 workers are required for the mango picking season in the NT,

(v) worker shortages of seasonal workers have been exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic limiting national and international travel, and

(vi) the National Farmers' Federation warned the Morrison Government, pre-COVID, that 'agriculture's workforce deficit is one of the largest constraints to our sector's productivity growth and we need solutions for agriculture to reach its potential of being a $100 billion industry by 2030'; and

(b) calls on the Government to urgently act to come up with creative and innovative solutions to support farmers facing this seasonal worker crisis.


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