Unemployed Australians could be offered financial incentives to take up regional harvest work in the federal budget to be handed down next week.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud wants jobless Australians to “have a crack” at picking fruit and vegetables.

“So we’re working through some measures that could be announced very soon around incentivising Australians who are on JobSeeker, but also Youth Allowance recipients, to look at measures and opportunities for them,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday.

The measures could include allowing welfare recipients to earn up to $300 a fortnight before their benefits were affected.

As well, backpackers, Pacific Island workers and other seasonal workers will be able to extend their visas to stay in Australia to help during the harvest period, according to The Australian.

The 30 year age limit on working holiday visas could also be dumped so more people can take on the work.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of state and international borders, the agriculture sector has struggled to find enough workers.


The budget will be released on October 6.


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