SENATOR THE HON KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
THE HON JOEL FITZGIBBON MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR HUNTER
PETER DUTTON’S AIRPLANE PEOPLE WORK SCAM CRIPPLING AUSTRALIA’S HORTICULTURAL INDUSTRY
Last night The Project aired an extraordinary exposé revealing how Peter Dutton’s failure to control Australia’s borders and the number of airplane arrivals claiming asylum is exacerbating the labour crisis in Australia’s horticultural industry.
New research from the Victorian Farmers Federation shows 71 per cent of farmers surveyed believed they had illegal workers on their farms – with over 5000 illegal workers in Victoria’s Sunraysia region alone.
“Until December last year, I have (sic) a work visa. I don’t have visa now.” – Malaysian national worker featured on The Project.
“All you have to do is pay $2350 and everything will be sorted. They told us to tick where the tourist visa is. In a day we could make about $50 or $75... I’m pretty sure I’ve been working illegally.” – Fijian national featured on The Project.
Since the Liberal National Government were elected in 2013, over 100,000 people have arrived in Australia by airplane and claimed asylum with 85 per cent of these people found not to be genuine refugees.
These people can stay in Australia for upwards of four or even five years – being trafficked in Australia, working in exploited in slave-like conditions, and driving down Australian wages and conditions.
Australians would be rightly shocked and appalled that the food on their tables or in their kids’ lunchboxes could have been picked by exploited people who have fallen victim to this work scam.
Australia’s horticultural industry is crying out for the Liberal National Government to provide a durable solution to their labour shortages because they are acutely aware that rogue operators and labour hire firms are exploiting vulnerable people – particularly in regional Australia.
Peter Dutton and the Liberal National Government need to realise that people smugglers have shifted their business models from boats to planes and it’s having a dire impact on Australia’s horticultural industry.