Neil Mitchell urges Victoria to ‘wake up and fight’ Queensland worker grab
Queensland is promising bonuses of up to $1500 and a relocation payment as part of a major push to poach Victorian workers to fill severe worker shortages.
The sunshine state is struggling to find enough workers for the hospitality and tourism industries due to a lack of backpackers as a result of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
Victoria is also experiencing a similar problem due to a lack of international students.
Neil Mitchell says Victoria must fight back.
“Cafes are being closed because they can’t get staff. Restaurants that want to have several sittings are having only one. Bakers are cutting back, a lot of shops and pubs are struggling, and now Queensland is trying to poach our people,” Neil Mitchell said.
“They need staff, I get it … but we have to wake up and fight this.
“We’ve got to do something in an organised sense to protect and encourage our own workforce or our businesses are in trouble.”
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, Paul Guerra, says he expects the worker shortage in Victoria to improve in coming weeks, but the state may still need to introduce incentives to ensure positions can be filled.
“If we have to add incentives to get staff over the line then it would be great if government can help us do that, rather than the businesses who’ve hurt so much over the past period having to put their hand in their pocket,” he told Neil Mitchell.
Press PLAY below to hear Neil Mitchell’s message + VECCI CEO Paul Guerra
Queensland Tourism Minister, Stirling Hinchcliffe, says the sunshine state desperately needs the workers.
“We’ve had major resorts in Queensland that have only been ale to operate at 50 per cent capacity, not because of lack of demand, but because of lack of workforce,” he told Neil Mitchell.
“The incentive payments are $1500 in installments, plus there’s a $250 relocation allowance. This is $7.5 million program.
“We need them … our tourims industry needs them and they can have a great time.”
Press PLAY below to hear Queensland’s case