TFGA urges new funding to tackle housing crisis

12 May 2023

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers (TFGA) are urgently demanding action to tackle the severe housing shortage faced by agricultural workers across not only Tasmania but the entirety of Australia.

A lack of housing in rural areas is a big barrier to attracting workers to the industry and building economic momentum in the agricultural sector.

President of the TFGA, Ian Sauer said members are telling us there is a real lack of housing in rural areas, a problem that affects not only seasonal workers but those who work in mainstream agriculture, like dairy, cropping, and feedlots.

Mr. Sauer said, “The lack of housing Australia-wide puts at risk millions of dollars of produce not being harvested, which restricts further expansion and greater farm productivity.

“On Tuesday, May 9th, we sent letters to federal parliamentarians of all political affiliations, urging them to address the issue and support the Federal Government's initiative to allocate funding for the construction of 30,000 homes in regional and rural Australia within the next five years.

“We have a golden opportunity to help alleviate one of the nation's greatest cost of living issues by improving housing affordability in regional and remote areas if the Senate does the right and approves this legislation this week.

“In addition, addressing this issue will have a positive impact on the creation of indirect jobs and the individuals who provide vital support for the industry's operations, such as nurses and other healthcare professionals, as well as contributing to the well-being of the wider community,” he said.

“We understand Senator Jacqui Lambie has negotiated 1200 houses for Tasmania from the Fund which is a positive move, and we hope some of those, and more will be earmarked specifically for agricultural areas,” he said.

The TFGA urges all politicians to honor the intent of this legislation so that the shortage of housing in regional areas is fixed and we can use this as legislative change as an opportunity to further Tasmania’s and the nation’s economic growth.

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As the largest advocacy group in Tasmania and the only one that focuses exclusively on farming and the rural sector, the future of Tasmanian agriculture is our focus.

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Kellie Morris