The NFF is also working with the Backpacker and Youth Tourism Advisory Panel to develop a ‘COVIDsafe pathway’ proposal which would allow working holiday makers from countries with low infection rates to enter Australia in a highly controlled manner.

Mr Mahar said farmers would always prefer to employ Australians, however for many reasons, seasonal work did not always suit local job seekers.

“With so many Australians now looking for work, the NFF continues to promote the jobs and career path opportunities on offer in agriculture.

“The NFF has created a new online resource to connect Australian job seekers with farm sector employment.

“However, the fact is, farmers require a combination of both Australian and foreign workers.”

Mr Mahar said the main priority for the NFF and its members, was the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

“It is essential that all COVID-19 guidelines are followed. The NFF has developed a COVID-19 Farm Workforce Guide.”

“The resource outlines the considerations for farm business operators when welcoming new workers, addressing accommodation, self-isolation and financial support.

“It also contains essential information about the tightened social and hygiene practices required on farm and in staff living quarters. This includes how to respond should a worker either be suspected of having the virus or is in fact tested positive,” Mr Mahar said.

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