WENDELL HUSSEY | Cadet | CONTACT
In a human interest story from our nation’s regions, fruit farmers have today revealed the devastating cost the shutting of borders has had on them.
Speaking to The Advocate this morning, a representative for the industry Bill Billson explained that without migrant workers to exploit, his business model is really suffering.
“It’s tough out here mate, we can’t get new crops of young backpackers and foreign students who have to work for us for next to nothing,” explained Billson.
Under a long-running scheme facilitated by the Federal Government and Home Affairs, migrant workers are forced to work at least 88 days for primary producers to get accepted for a second year working holiday visa, where they then get exploited by labor-hire companies or the hospitality industry.
The appalling pay, living conditions, and problematic behavior that occurs can be backed up by anecdotal evidence by every single migrant worker you have ever meet and will ever meet.
The scheme has with a blind eye turned on the crook shit that goes on, because of the transient nature of migrant workers and the small perceived political benefit the government gets from it.
“Mate, we’ve got high unemployment in this area, and Aussies won’t come and do the work,” explained Billson who pays on a piece-rate which equates to about $5 an hour if you pick as many of his apples in a 12 hour day as you can.
“We’ve got accommodation out here,” he says pointing to the crook shed that has 32 bunk beds in it.
“And, if you are nice enough, you can come and stay in the homestead with me,” he said.
“Anyway, all I’m saying is it’s killing our business not being able to rip young people off who have no other option but coming and spending a couple of months out here,” said the man with an evidently broken business model.
“It really gets my goat me how lazy Aussies are.”
“Everyone’s whinging about being out of work, get out here, roll ya bloody sleeves up and get to work!” finished the man who does fuck all but ensure he’s supply line of cheap labour is as uninterrupted as possible.
“$5 bucks an hour, every hour.”