Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC

Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food; Hydrogen Industry

    Call out for local workers for harvest season

    13/10/2021 11:45 AM
    • Travel and accommodation allowances available to support agricultural work in the regions
    • McGowan Government resets incentive scheme to allow workers to claim allowances for a second year
    • Incentives provided to more than 1500 applicants over first 12 months of the scheme
    • New 'Harvest Force' initiative launched to support grains industry 

    The McGowan Government is once again putting generous incentives on the table to encourage Western Australians to travel to the regions to assist the State's primary industries with the upcoming harvest.


    It comes as the State joins with industry to launch the Harvest Force initiative, to support the grain harvest workforce.


    The Primary Industries Workers Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme was introduced in 2020, providing eligible workers with an accommodation allowance of $40 per night up to a maximum of 12 weeks, in addition to a one-off travel allowance of up to $500.


    To date, more than $1.9 million has been provided as part of the program to more than 1500 applicants who have travelled to destinations throughout the State - particularly the South West and the Wheatbelt.


    The McGowan Government has reset the scheme's eligibility criteria, allowing workers who claimed the scheme over the past 12 months to do so again in the upcoming harvest.


    As part of efforts to mobilise a local agricultural workforce, the McGowan Government today joined with Grain Growers Ltd and Agribusiness Australia to launch the Harvest Force initiative.


    Harvest Force is a practical, innovative solution to source willing, qualified and experienced grain harvest personnel from the agribusiness sector and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to assist WA farmers with this season's anticipated record crop.


    Many agribusiness workers who have on-farm experience possess valuable skills, like machinery operation, and will require minimal training to assist with the grains harvest.


    The State Government is funding a coordination role within Grain Growers to manage the movement of skilled agribusiness personnel into on-farm roles to support harvest.


    The McGowan Government is also continuing to facilitate the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme, which have seen more than 1750 Pacific Islanders safely enter WA since December 2020.


    For more information on travel incentives, visit www.wa.gov.au/regional-travel-support.


    Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:


    "We know we are on track for a record grain harvest this year, on top of the huge number of jobs available right across our primary industries.


    "We're pulling out all stops to encourage local workers to get out and support our farmers during the harvest.


    "It has been very encouraging to see how many West Australians have listened to the call to arms in 2020 and 2021, heading out to the regions to support our agricultural industries.


    "The Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme has played a valuable role in attracting extra workers to the regions over the past 12 months, particularly during the busy grains and horticulture harvest period.


    "The Harvest Force initiative will help bolster the available farm-familiar workforce for the grain sector, coordinating agribusiness staff to head out onto farms over coming months.


    "We encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture, the regions and adventure - young and not-so-young - to consider working on a farm during this important time on the agricultural calendar."


    Minister's office - 6552 6200