18/06/2021 | David Basham MP | Better Services

More than 800 seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands have now successfully completed quarantine in the Riverland and begun important work harvesting SA crops and supporting thousands of local jobs right across the supply chain.

A total of 782 men and 22 women from Tonga, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Samoa have undergone quarantine since April without a single case of COVID-19 being detected and the Paringa Resort will now return to business as usual.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the State Government was pleased to report the last group of workers have received their final negative test.

“Industry modelling shows if there was a significant reduction in the availability of seasonal workers there could have been nearly $1 billion wiped from our state economy. This would have been devastating for our local agriculture industry and the thousands of jobs across the state it supports,” Minister Basham said.

“These Pacific Island seasonal workers are now making a valuable contribution to the South Australian economy by working in seasonal harvest and meat processing roles.

“Our model is being looked upon interstate as best practice, with a total of four groups having undergone quarantine at this facility in the Riverland - the most recent of which were provided with a health ‘all-clear’ today.

“The Paringa Resort will now return to business as usual with the removal of extra infrastructure such as security fencing taking place over the coming days.

“The Marshall Liberal Government worked closely with SA Health and SAPOL to safely set up the specially-configured Paringa Resort in the Riverland as a quarantine facility.

“This is why we set up the Paringa solution and we will continue to work with industry, SA Health and SAPOL moving forward to see what other options exist to get seasonal workers into South Australia if required. Discussions are continuing about a potential in-country pre-departure quarantine pilot with Vanuatu and Fiji.

“Earlier this year this government launched ‘Our Regions Matter’, a South Australian-first blueprint to drive economic growth in the state's regions and create jobs across a range of industries.

“Our regions contribute around $29 billion per year to the South Australian economy across a range of industries including farming, fishing, mining, manufacturing and tourism, which is why we are investing more than $3 billion across more than 1,000 projects across the regions.

“As part of this, we also continue to support job growth in the regions in South Australia’s agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors.”

For more information about finding a job in SA’s regions visit: https://www.regionalwork.sa.gov.au.