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Christmas Island quarantine: New push for foreign grain harvest workers

Gareth Parker
Article image for Christmas Island quarantine: New push for foreign grain harvest workers

The state government wants the Commonwealth to allow skilled agricultural workers from Europe to quarantine on Christmas Island to help with this year’s grain harvest.

WA needs about 1,000 experienced heavy farm machinery operators for the upcoming harvest, which is predicted to be a record 20 million tonnes.

Agricultural Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Christmas Island detention centre would safely accommodate foreign workers and reduce pressure on WA’s hotel quarantine system.

“I just hope that the federal government really wants to sit down and work with us on it,” she told Gareth Parker.

“We think if we got two charter plane loads in and set up this quarantine system for six weeks, it would be enough to give us a boost of say 500 workers, that are skilled and used to harvest operations.”

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Gareth Parker
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