Pacific workers coming to help NSW farms

·1-min read

More than 800 seasonal workers from the Pacific Island nations have been approved to come to NSW to help with the chronic labour shortage on the state's farms.

"The NSW government has given the green light for an additional 815 workers to enter the state, a welcome boost for our primary producers," Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said in a statement on Tuesday.

The move will be welcomed by farmers who have missed out on backpacker labour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I am delighted for our farmers who will receive a vital boost to their workforce," Mr Marshall said.

The workers from Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu, will be able to work in the state's horticulture and meat processing industries.

To ensure NSW remains COVID-safe, all incoming workers will be required to undergo two weeks' hotel quarantine.

The 815 arrivals were in addition to the more than 350 skilled workers approved last year, which means NSW will have approved more seasonal worker arrivals than any other state in the country, Mr Marshall said.

"Today's announcement isn't a silver bullet, but it is a welcome boost to our workforce and we will continue to work to see more workers arrive in the coming months," he said.