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Our people are critically important to farm businesses and the broader agriculture sector and economy. Australian growers need access to a reliable and capable workforce supported by sound government policies that facilitate access to workers, encourage sustainable workforce planning, provide a flexible operating environment and reduce unnecessary regulation. 

Regional liveability plays a crucial role in enhancing the well-being and productivity of the agricultural workforce, ensuring better outcomes in terms of job satisfaction, work-life balance, and overall community support. It is also vital to the attraction and retention of workers and their families.

Addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with people and capability contributes to a vibrant industry and grows a strong national workforce that can underpin the productivity and profitability of the agriculture sector.


  • The responsibility for workforce and capability planning as a shared one, reliant on industry, government and the education sector working together.
  • The contribution of migration, strong communities and regional growth toward developing a sustainable rural and regional workforce.
  • The establishment of the Australian grains industry in the minds of potential employees as an employer of choice.
  • Continuing support and increased effort in training as a requirement toward building a capable and sustainable workforce. 
  • Productive businesses underpinned by healthy workers and safe workplaces. 


  • Regional liveability impacts our farmers and their workers, and a lack of access to services such as childcare and healthcare, housing shortages and unreliable telecommunications are examples of challenges businesses and workers in regional Australia face every day.
  • In the absence of consistent and comprehensive data it is difficult for our industry to manage the existing workforce and capture opportunities to identify skills gaps and train new workers entering the industry. 
  • Workforce shortages are a chronic issue experienced by growers due to competition for the limited number of workers within rural and regional communities.
  • Australia’s agricultural industries are extremely diverse and require individuals with specific skills and experience that meet the needs of farm businesses along with allied services and supply chain industries. 
  • The seasonal aspect of agricultural work leads to significant fluctuation in the demand for workers, and this can be further complicated by unseasonal weather and an increasingly variable climate. 



  1. GrainGrowers supports government policies and programs that enable rural and regional economic and social development, and that support workers in these communities. 
  2. The collection of data to inform a better understanding of the grains industry agricultural workforce and its needs.
  3. A migration system that better understands and recognises the people and capability gaps within the grains industry.
  4. The establishment of educational and training initiatives that showcase agriculture’s diversity in skills and job roles, and enable up-skilling and re-skilling of Australia’s agricultural workforce.
  5. The development of initiatives leading to safer farms and better physical and mental health outcomes for growers.