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Cost of food climbs

Cost of living continues to rise as a result of agriculture workforce shortages, but the Albanese Government refuses to accept the Ag Visa as part of the solution.
In today’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Senate estimates hearing Senator Penny Wong revealed that more ASEAN countries were interested in joining the Ag Visa.
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt wouldn’t even approach the subject during estimates, opting to refer all Ag Visa questions to the Foreign Affairs Committee, which led to the revelation.
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said this omission from Senator Wong showed Labor had no idea what the agriculture industry needed and no regard for fixing the cost-of-living crisis.
“It is disappointing to hear more countries wanted to be a part of the Ag Visa, which would bring more workers to Australia, but Labor is refusing to accommodate them,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Australia needs 172,000 workers to get food from paddock to plate but Labor has left farmers unable to plant or produce as much food.
“Why is Labor denying Australian farmers the workers they so desperately need?
“Common sense tells you when supply goes down, demand goes up, which is why Australians are paying more at the grocery check-out right now.”
Mr Littleproud added Labor made an obvious mistake to cancel the Ag Visa, which was designed to supplement the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme for workers in southeast Asia.
Figures show food and non-alcoholic beverages have increased by 9.2 per cent over 12 months.
“The PALM scheme is not bringing in enough workers and Australians, including farmers and families, are suffering as a result.”

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