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Thursday, 24 June 2021
Page: 42


Senator URQUHART (TasmaniaOpposition Whip in the Senate) (12:40): Before moving general business notice of motion No. 1181, I ask that the name of Senator Sheldon be added to the motion. At the request of Senators Keneally, Wong and Sheldon, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) Minister Littleproud announced, on 16 June 2021, a proposed agricultural visa for Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and stated it will 'mirror the existing Seasonal Worker Program (SWP)' but later said it will be 'really an extension of the working holiday scheme',

(ii) on 17 June 2021 Senator Ruston stated that the proposed agricultural visa scheme 'will work alongside both the Seasonal Worker Program and the working holiday makers and that the exact and specific details of the new scheme are currently being worked out',

(iii) any reduction of protections in the SWP risks agricultural workers facing a greater risk of exploitation, and

(iv) the Morrison Government's conflicting announcements and undermining of the SWP and Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) risk damaging Australia's Pacific relationships; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) rule out any reduction of protections in the SWP,

(ii) explain how this visa will impact the SWP and the PLS and rule out any reduction in places offered to Pacific workers under the scheme, and

(iii) deliver safe, fit-for-purpose federal quarantine to address worker shortages.