Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Minister Can Ease Labour Shortage, Says Christensen

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Minister Can Ease Labour Shortage, Says Christensen

Article excerpt

A SIMPLE stroke of a pen could have resolved the Mackay sugar industry's chronic labour shortage this season, according to Federal Member for Mackay George Christensen.

C[pounds sterling]But Employment Minister Bill Shorten couldn't even bring himself to perform the simplest of tasks to alleviate one of the biggest employment issues we have in Mackay,C[yen] Mr Christensen said.

Mr Christensen has issued various requests to alter the official starting date of the Pacific Seasonal Worker pilot program.

The program allowed employment of Pacific workers from July 1 but the last induction course in Mackay started on May 4.

C[pounds sterling]Canegrowers informs me today that our request has been denied and, as a result, the Mackay sugar industry will have to tough it out for another year with chronic labour shortages,C[yen] Mr Christensen said.

C[pounds sterling]There is no special significance to the date July 1. It might be the start of a financial year but we are talking about seasons and seasonal work here. …

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