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Tuesday, 19 February 2019
Page: 13886


Ms CHESTERS (Bendigo) (13:36): We are talking a lot about dairy and the dairy industry at the moment, which is one of the reasons why I stand today in this place to raise an issue about dairy processing. Workers came to see me from Pactum Dairy Group, which has a processing facility in Shepparton. They're very concerned about the treatment of some temporary workers who are here from the Philippines. First engaged on 457 visas and now engaged on 482 visas, there are about 30 to 40 of them working at this particular facility. They were all engaged as mechanical engineers and technicians. That's a lot of engineers for one dairy processing factory. When they started to talk to the workers, they discovered they're actually just doing process rolls. Shepparton is an area just north of Bendigo where there are countless people looking for work. When another dairy processor that prioritises employing locals advertised, there were 450 applications, the majority of whom had skills.

We know the dairy industry is going through some pressures. Some processors are cutting back the days that they are opening. There are workers out there looking to do this work. The union, NUW, and the affected workers have met with their local MP, whose slogan is 'putting locals first', but today he is not putting the local process workers in his electorate first. I call on the Nationals do to more— (Time expired)