Vanuatu workers arrive on farms

Vanuatu workers arrive on farms

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154 Ni-Vanuatu nationals have been deployed throughout WA

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HAVING completed a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, 154 Ni-Vanuatu nationals have been deployed throughout Western Australia to harvest crops and support local food processing.

Testing for COVID-19 was completed by the WA Department of Health on day two and 12 of the quarantine period, with all Ni-Vanuatu nationals testing negative.

The seasonal workers will left the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth to travel to 10 farms across the State, to work in destinations including Gingin, Pinjarra, Myalup, Harvey, Mt Barker, Pemberton, Manjimup, Katanning and Narrogin.

Detailed onfarm safety and wellbeing briefings will occur from tomorrow.

Thirty of the workers have been recruited under the Pacific Labour Scheme and will be work in Australia for up to three years.

The remaining 124 workers were contracted under the Seasonal Worker Program and will work for a nine-month period.

The 31 females and 123 males will provide time-critical labour for farm businesses facing workforce challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help harvest fresh local vegetables.

A further 162 workers are scheduled to arrive in WA from Vanuatu on January 7 and will also be required to undertake a quarantine period.

State Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the government was "keen to get a third plane happening around the end of January".

But that depended on the need from local employers who had been asked to "come forward and indicate demand".

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