The Morrison Government has today announced a change to its measures aimed at getting workers into jobs on Australian farms.
Following consultation with the agricultural industry the Government is delivering a new more flexible approach to its Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program for short term agricultural work. Assistance to support individuals take up short-term agricultural work will be delivered through a support to be called ‘AgMove’. The new approach will accommodate short, but intense, harvesting seasons and provide the right incentives to get job seekers to give agricultural work a go with a helping hand from the Government.
Under AgMove, the Commonwealth Government is introducing more flexible incentives which will see Australians eligible for up to $2,000 in relocation assistance (or $650 for temporary visa holders) when they complete just 40 hours of agricultural work over a two-week period. This reduces the existing initial eligibility period for reimbursement from six weeks to just two.
If workers continue in agricultural work and complete 120 hours across a period of at least four weeks, they will hit the second eligibility point where they will be able to access reimbursement of up to $6,000 for Australian workers and up to $2,000 for temporary visa holders.
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert MP, said AgMove demonstrated the Government was listening to industry and would continue to deliver support to help address workforce shortages on Australian farms.
‘This will help to address the continued high demand for harvest workers across Australia by encouraging much-needed workers to stay on the job for longer,’ Minister Robert said.
‘AgMove meets industry needs by making agricultural work more attractive and accessible to workers who can relocate to help farmers during busy periods,’ he said.
‘Whether you’re a student on university break, on a working holiday or an experienced long-time worker, the Australian Government is providing you the flexibility needed to give agricultural jobs a go.’
The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said securing a workforce for our agricultural industry has been a top priority of the Federal Government.
‘Our farmers have put their shoulder to the wheel during COVID and produced bumper crops, prime livestock and the best fibre in the world,’ Minister Littleproud said.
‘I could not be prouder of their determination and resilience.
‘AgMove will help get more of the available labour force to more parts of Australia making sure agriculture continues to be the cornerstone of our economic recovery.’
AgMove – up to $2,000
John is retired and lives in Sydney. He hears that Australian farmers need more people to harvest their crops and decides to check if he can do some harvest work. He checks job ads on the www.harvesttrail.gov.au website. John contacts the Harvest Trail Services (HTS) provider listed on one of the ads, who advises that he can refer John to a job at the apple farm in Southern Queensland to work on the upcoming winter harvest. John is eligible to receive relocation assistance under AgMove because he will be relocating more than 90 minutes away from his residential address in Sydney.
John enters into an AgMove Agreement with the HTS provider, drives north, checks into a local caravan park and starts working at the apple farm.
John works 30 hours a week for 2 weeks, which makes him eligible to be reimbursed for up to $2,000 in relocation costs.
The HTS provider reimburses John:
- $400 for petrol costs for his trip from Sydney, and appropriate work clothes;
- $840 for two weeks of accommodation at the local caravan park.
At this first eligibility point John has been reimbursed $1,240 of $2,000.
AgMove – up to $6,000
John’s work at the apple farm is extended to the end of June.
He continues to work 30 hours a week and completes 120 hours of work within four weeks, he has reached the second eligibility point
The HTS provider reimburses an additional:
- $2,320 for John’s accommodation at the caravan park to the end of his work assignment.
The total AgMove reimbursement John has received at this point is $3,560.
After John finishes work at the apple farm in June, the HTS provider offers him a job further north at the berry farm.
The HTS provider:
- reimburses John $260 for his travel costs to the berry farm and overnight transit accommodation; and
- pays $480 for two weeks of on-farm accommodation
Note: up to two months of accommodation costs can be reimbursed under AgMove.
In total John received $4,300 out of the $6,000 maximum available under AgMove to assist with his temporary relocation costs.
AgMove is a component of the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program and was formerly known as Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job for short-term Agricultural Work, which has been available since 1 November 2020 to help people relocate to regional areas to take up short-term harvest and agricultural work.
AgMove will be administered by Harvest Trail Services and Harvest Trail Information Service providers. Harvest Trail Services providers connect farmers with people looking for seasonal harvest work across Australia and manage AgMove in their respective harvest areas. More than 14,000 harvest jobs have also been filled by Harvest Trail Services providers since July 2020. We look forward to adding many more through easier access to these payments.
The Harvest Trail Information Service is providing information regarding harvest related work opportunities across Australia and will deliver AgMove for relocation to non-harvest jobs in agriculture and for harvest jobs outside the sixteen Harvest Areas.
For more information go to www.harvesttrail.gov.au
Who do I contact to apply for AgMove?
- If you have any general inquiries about AgMove, call the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.
- People looking for work who are interested in Harvest work can find job opportunities at https://jobsearch.gov.au/harvest/search.
- Jobs advertised with a Harvest Trail Services logo include contact details for the relevant Harvest Trail Services provider who will be able to help you apply for relocation assistance.
- People looking for non harvest jobs in agriculture (such as work with livestock or on dairy farms) or for harvest jobs outside Harvest Areas, can call the Harvest Trail Information Service on 1800 062 332 for assistance.
What can I use AgMove for?
AgMove relocation assistance is flexible and can be used for a range of items, including:
- Accommodation costs such as rent, motel, caravan, or campsite fees
- Travel costs such as fares, petrol, car hire
- Some employment-related expenses such as safety clothing, uniforms, and work boots.
A Harvest Trail Services provider or the Harvest Trail Information Service will consider if you can receive assistance as a reimbursement, payment directly to the supplier or where financial hardship is assessed, an upfront payment to cover basic costs.
AgMove is a reimbursement of costs to eligible people who move to take up a short-term agricultural job. It is not a grant or an entitlement and cannot be used for non-work related or luxury items, such as travel costs for a holiday, or for the purchase of designer sunglasses, hats or sneakers.
What is short-term agricultural work?
You can get AgMove if you relocate to take up short-term agricultural work, including:
- Production of harvest crops, including picking and pollinating
- Planting and preparation for planting of harvest crops
- Propagation of harvest crops, including growing new plants from seeds
- Processing and packing operations for harvest crops and packing shed operations
- Local storage and transportation of harvest crops
Livestock and Dairy Work
- Manufacturing dairy produce from raw material
- Immediate processing of animal products, including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
- Livestock laboring: feeding, breeding, and raising livestock
What are my responsibilities?
You must have:
- received and accepted an offer of employment for agricultural work, including harvest work, (with a confirmed job start date and pay and conditions); or
- commenced agricultural work, including harvest work, after 1 November 2020; and
- entered into an AgMove Agreement with your Harvest Trail Services provider.
To receive relocation assistance, you will be required to give the following to your Harvest Trail Services provider:
- invoices, receipts, or other evidence of valid relocation costs to be reimbursed to you or directly to a supplier
- any other additional evidence, including quotes if requested
- if you are not placed into a job by your Harvest Trail Services provider, a copy of the offer of employment with full contact details of your employer, such as ABN, address, and contact telephone number.
How can I find agricultural work?
- You can check the Harvest Trail Jobs Board to find available jobs in the horticulture industry in harvest areas across Australia at
- You can contact your local Harvest Trail Services provider or the Harvest Trail Information Service on 1800 062 332.
For more information