Tasmania Senator Eric Abetz believes young unemployed people should take on any task for work.DARREN LINTON May 27, 2014 3:22am
Tasmania Senator Eric Abetz has urged young people who find themselves unemployed to pick fruit or work on a dairy to make ends meet.
Defending unpopular changes to Newstart that would force people under the age of 30 to wait six months before receiving unemployment benefits, Senator Abetz said they should be prepared to take on any task.
Speaking of his home state, Senator Abetz said 90 per cent of pickers for the apple harvest were from overseas.
Fruit Growers Victoria general manager John Wilson said in the Goulburn Valley the figure was about 80 per cent and most were backpackers trying to earn an extra year on the their working holiday visa.
Mr Wilson said fruitpicking was seasonal and regional, requiring dislocation, which was not an issue for backpackers who made it part of their travel experience.
‘‘When you take people out of their support networks and shunt them into a district as temporary labour you are going to create other social problems,’’ he said.
A picker doing piece work could make $860 a week before tax.
‘‘We would always welcome Australian workers, however if there is a significant clerical burden involved, the government would be incentifying growers to hire foreign workers,’’ Mr Wilson said.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Tyran Jones agreed dairy work was a good option for young workers, even urban dwellers who thought milk came from a carton.
‘‘We’ve had people who have come from quite urban backgrounds who have worked out to be very good at milking cows,’’ he said.
The industry ran its own National Centre for Dairy Education that offered advanced training for employees, but he said people could start at the bottom and learn on the job.
‘‘The biggest factors are being reliable and willing to learn,’’ he said.
‘‘On a dairy farm you can’t to afford to have people not turn up.’’
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
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Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
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