Bert Van Manen welcomes to PM to Forde
by Siobhan Daglish
Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen welcomed the Prime Minister as he arrived at the Chambers Flat strawberry farm last month.
Between strawberry picking and ice cream, the Prime Minister announced a range of visa changes to help farmers fill critical labour shortages.
Changes to the program include lifting the annual caps on visas, expanding the number of regional areas where Worker Holiday Maker (WHM) visa holders can work for three months in specified farming work, and allow 12 months of work with the same agricultural employer.
Mr van Manen said the changes will assist farmers this season by providing greater capacity to meet their workforce needs.
“We’re helping our farmers address labour shortages by expanding these programs, meaning more help for harvest and more support for our regional communities,” Mr van Manen said.
After suggestions the bus tour was a Queensland vote grab, Mr van Manen was quick to defend the Prime Minister, citing various occasions Mr Morrison had visited the state and his own electorate before taking leadership.
“He’s been here in his previous role as Treasurer and prior to that as Immigration Minister. Scott has spent an enormous amount of time in Queensland and a number of times in my electorate of Forde.”