Pacific Island Workers Scheme
Database House Hansard
Date 28-05-2012
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 43
Electorate Flynn
Page 5687
Party Nats
Status Final
Speaker O'Dowd, Ken, MP
Stage Pacific Island Workers Scheme
System Id chamber/hansardr/2a23625b-4f80-4806-bdea-cf22f74e9fac/0078

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS - Pacific Island Workers Scheme

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (13:50): Today I would like to talk about the Pacific Island Workers Scheme. It is in my area, especially around Emerald and the 2PHfarmswhere they employ up to 500 workers per year. It is a mix of Southern Pacific Islanders, Tongans, Fijians and so forth, mixed in with backpackers and, of course, Australian workers. Without these workers from the Pacific Islands the work just simply would not get done. During the floods of 2010 the Pacific Island workers really bent their backs and got the citrus trees that were covered and buried in mud upright. These were producing fruit by the end of the year. This was a fantastic result for the 2PH farms.

The Pacific Island scheme is also working quite well in places like Gayndah and Mundubbera. Of course you always get those contentious issues where Australians say they cannot get work, but we believe there needs to be a balance between backpacker workers, Fijian workers, Tongan workers and the local Australians. In fact, the Biloela meatworks have always said that there would be no foreign workers in the meatworks while there was an Australian without work. So that is how it is working, and it is working very well.