Produce growers have bone to pick with Western Australia politicians

Truyen Vo, Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles, Tiep Hoang, Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan, Vietnamese Farmers’ Association chairman Thang Le, Thanh Dang and Chuc Nguyen.
Truyen Vo, Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles, Tiep Hoang, Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan, Vietnamese Farmers’ Association chairman Thang Le, Thanh Dang and Chuc Nguyen.

VIETNAMESE farmers raised their issues about recruiting vegetable and strawberry pickers with state politicians recently.

Vietnamese Farmers’ Association chairman Thang Van Le hosted a meeting between farmers and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan and Wanneroo MLA Paul Miles at his Gnangara farm.

Mr Miles said the visit was part of the Wanneroo-Joondalup community cabinet on September 7.

“Staying connected with local businesses and hearing their issues first-hand is a vital part of government,” he said.

“Wanneroo has a vibrant multicultural community and recognising their needs and concerns is part of the mandate of government. One of the more prominent issues we discussed was the possibility of allowing backpackers to work on these farms as the farmers have huge demand for labour that is currently not being met.

“Currently, due to the location of the farms, backpackers cannot work as legislation requires they apply for more rural farm labour.”

Dr Nahan said it was a productive meeting with the delegates from the Vietnamese Farmers Association.

“Mr Thang raised concerns about the difficulties the group are experiencing getting suitable pickers for their vegetables and strawberry crops,” he said.