Doubt cast over foreign workers scheme

June 23, 2008

The National Harvest Labour Information Service says there is no point bringing in Pacific Islanders to work in the Riverland because there would be nowhere for them to stay.

An immigration scheme for workers from the Pacific Islands to ease skill shortages in Australia has been discussed in Federal Parliament.

But the service's manager, Mary-Anne Maloney, says the Riverland's navel packers and growers cannot take any extra workers in peak harvesting times because of a shortage in accommodation and transport.

"The infrastructure is perhaps, you could argue, in place in other regions, but in the Riverland that all needs to be in place for a scheme from the Pacific Islands to be considered," she said.