12.2 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Half-price quarantine a step in the right direction, says NSW Farmers’ Association

Latest News

Cartoon of the week – 21 April, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Other News

MardiGrass is on and Nimbin is ready to roll

The recent cancellation of Bluesfest sent a shiver up the spine of MardiGrass host Michael Balderstone, as visions of the same fate awaiting the annual protest at Nimbin came too close for comfort.

Arakwal chemicals

David Gilet, Byron Bay I have long been dismayed by the use of Glyphosate by Parks & Wildlife in Arakwal National...

Remembering Peter Warner

Ballina's legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Step up, Ben

Martin Corben, Lennox Head With the cancellation of Bluesfest now would be a good time for the NSW state government’s...


NSW Farmers’ Association says it’s pleased that calls for the subsidisation of quarantine costs for agricultural workers have been heard by the NSW Government.

NSW FA President James Jackson said today’s announcement by the NSW Government to subsidise half the cost of quarantine for agricultural workers is a positive step forward. He hopes the move will continue past the 2020-2021 financial year.

‘NSW fruit and vegetable growers have already amassed millions of dollars worth of crop losses, causing heartache for an industry coming out of prolonged drought, bushfires, and now floods,’ said Mr Jackson.

‘This move will bring NSW in line with other states that have introduced support for quarantine costs, however, this commitment is for just over two months as it runs out at the end of the financial year. ‘

‘Covid-19 related workforce supply disruptions for the agriculture sector and specifically for the horticulture industry will continue to remain until at least mid-2022,’ he said.

‘While the immediate financial support provided by the announced subsidy is welcomed by our members, financial support for hotel quarantine costs is also needed for the 2021/22 cropping season,’ said Mr Jackson.

50 percent subsidy

The program announced by the NSW Government today will see the industry supported with a 50 percent subsidy for hotel quarantine costs, reducing the cost from $3,000 to $1,500 per worker entering NSW.

It will also provide retrospective support to employers who have already incurred the full hotel quarantine costs to bring desperately needed workers into the country.

‘This is a big tick for the NSW Farmers five-point-plan on addressing the worker shortage,’ said James Jackson.

‘The fact that agricultural workers are not included in the state’s 3,000 person per week arrivals cap is another tick for our plan, as we asked for state controlled flexibility of arrival caps to facilitate the arrival of seasonal workers.’

He said that accommodating the flow of workers in to the country needed to be a government priority at both state and commonwealth levels going forward.

‘The Australian Government must expedite visa processing times and introduce some flexibility into current visa requirements,’ said Mr Jackson.

‘We must also look at providing assistance to coordinate the sharing of seasonal workers across farms during their stay, so that small to medium farm businesses can also access harvest workers when required.’

Mr Jackson said figures show the horticulture sector is suffering from a massive seasonal workforce shortage and needs another 4,000 seasonal workers to fill the immediate gap and an additional 2,000 to cover peak seasonal harvest demands.

‘Our modelling shows a 50 percent decrease in seasonal workers would result in a $500 million reduction in the state’s output of fresh produce by the end of 2021-22 season,’ he said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Absurd, if the government demands people put themselves under quarantine (forced house arrest) for no good reason then of course the government should cover the entire cost of that… these parasitic politicians are completely out of control


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.