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  1. Danny Fyffe
    Danny Fyffe May 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Whilst I agree entirely that Australia ought facilitate better access to employment opportunities in Australia, the opportunities will only ever directly benefit a very small percentage of the population. Currently over three quarters of the population are directly dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood. Strategies that focus on improving agricultural production, diversifying and value adding (eg through making tofu/tempeh from locally grown soybean) timber production with rural based timber and bamboo milling and local furniture making, more intensive cattle production, mini dams to capture wet season water to use for year round vegetable crop production are a few examples of the ways in which the long term employment and prosperity of Timorese can be grown in country.

    I also think it is fanciful to imagine that the Australian horticultural Industry that lobbied for years to get better access to the labour market would be at all grateful if the incentives for backpackers to work in agriculture were to be removed.

    I agree entirely with the other reforms to the seasonal worker scheme suggested. It’s a powerful disincentive for potential employers if they have to front for an airfare for sight unseen workers , especially given that Timorese workers generally have poor english language skills and close to zero experience in modern commercial horticulture. The existing demands for pastoral care put a further impost on potential employers.

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