Ag workforce looking for answers on jobs funds

Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes must explain why funds intended to provide direct employment in the agriculture sector will instead be used to prop up new jobs at Victoria’s Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs).

The Andrews Government announced today that part of the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan will go to “job creation projects” at five of Victoria’s CMAs, including with an education program in schools.

According to the Victorian Government, “the Agriculture Workforce Plan will support the agriculture and food production sectors to meet their labour and operational needs”.

This includes recruitment support for businesses in agriculture, food processing and the food supply chain and financial assistance for worker relocation.

CMAs receive recurrent Victorian Government funding under the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, not Agriculture Victoria.

Comment attributable to Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh

“These funds were promised to make sure our primary producers and the food supply chain has the workforce it needs to meet critical demand for Victorian food and fibre.

“The Agriculture Minister is clearly out of ideas and desperate for something to show for her failed Agriculture Workforce Plan.”

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