Forum launches campaign to pick the Burdekin
A Seasonal Worker Forum will be held at the Burdekin Theatre next Monday, 26 October.
Growing concerns over a shortage of seasonal workers picking and packing produce on North Queensland farms has resulted in Burdekin Shire Council and Bowen Gumlu Growers Association announcing a Seasonal Worker Forum to be held at the Burdekin Theatre next Monday, 26 October.
The forum will offer growers, producers, and accommodation partners such as backpacker hostels who are experiencing difficulties accessing and retaining workers a chance to share their concerns and provide feedback on assistance supplied.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the seasonal worker shortage was being felt not only in the Burdekin, but across the country.
“The impacts of COVID-19 continue to be realised months on from the announcement of the global pandemic, with less travelling backpackers resulting in less workers available for the picking and packing of seasonal produce,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“There are a number of initiatives being developed by the State and Federal Governments and Council would like to support these as well as consider any additional support needed, in collaboration with the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association and local stakeholders.
“I want to encourage anyone who may be looking for work including university and school students who are looking for extra money over their Christmas break to consider spending a few months picking the Burdekin – there are a range of picking and packing positions currently available. Seasonal produce ready for harvest includes melons, capsicums, pumpkins, mangoes, zucchini and eggplants.”
The Seasonal Worker Forum will aim to identify key areas of concern for local stakeholders and gain a more accurate understanding of the amount of workers still required.
“I want to invite all growers, producers and accommodation partners such as backpacker hostels to attend the forum next Monday at the Burdekin Theatre to hear what Council and the Gumlu Growers Association are doing to assist and provide feedback on further activities that would support you.”
The Pick the Burdekin Seasonal Worker Forum will be held at the Burdekin Theatre from 6-7pm on Monday, 26 October. For more information and to RSVP, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Council on 4783 9800.