12 January 2021.

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Federal Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud has announced changes that mean student visa holders can work more than the 40 hours per fortnight limit during semesters if they are working for agriculture.

“Many farming regions are expecting bumper crops this year but with COVID-19 restricting international travel there still aren’t enough workers available,” Mr Littleproud said.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said the changes would help farmers this harvest season.

“We’re listening to farmers who have been clear that they need many more workers, and they need them now,” Minister Hawke said.

“These temporary visa holders are already in Australia; many do not want to or cannot go home, and they will be greatly valued in the agriculture sector.”

Harvest Trail Services, administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, will assist temporary visa holders to find harvest work. 

More information on the COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa is available at the Department of Home Affairs website.

Tips and advice for harvest employers on advertising jobs, hiring and paying harvest workers, and providing a safe workplace.

Read the complete media release.