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Worker shortages cripple local farming industry



A Lockyer Valley farmer has been left in a desperate situation to fill picking jobs for the harvest season.

Greg Lerch, grows Blenheim broccolis, cauliflowers, beetroot and carrots.

He says he needs hundreds of workers to keep his operation going, but it's retaining workers that has been the problem,

"When we are harvesting, they (workers) don't seem to last long, they put into a couple of hours and they just walk off,

It's just the enthusiasm not there, and they are just turning up and it doesn't suit them and they just go, that's what has been happening"

He says it's been a disappointing time since COVID began:

"Then you have to do all this paperwork for them to put them on, and you've got to pay them super and everything,

Now the backpackers know there are not a lot of people out there, so they can pick and chose what they want to do," he said.

The Federal Wright MP Scott Buchholz has described the labour shortages in the fruit and vegetable industry as 'absolutely dire'.

But he says that there have been good stories for farmers as well

"There probably are horror stories, but I am sure there are the others that make a contribution and stay,

Can I say our daughter went and worked between schoolies and starting university, and can I say she picked up around 10-grand over 11 weeks."