In their search for harvest workers, Tasmanian berry growers are planning to charter flights from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste next month. Up to 700 people involved in the Seasonal Worker Program are part of the deal, negotiated by industry, the state and federal governments.
The workers will also have health assessments before leaving their home countries. They are expected to fly into Canberra for customs checks and then onto Hobart, for mandatory hotel quarantine for two weeks, paid for by the Tasmanian Government. The workers will have to undergo COVID tests on days one, five and 10 and return a negative result before starting work.
Tasmanian Primary Industries Minister Guy Barnett said the industry would have to apply for it on behalf of these workers: "They have a job to do and obligations to meet. We've got an allocation in the order of 150 or thereabouts every couple of weeks.”
According to abc.net.au¸ the Tasmanian Government will also provide a $250 payment to each overseas worker, through the Pandemic Assistant Grants.