A political blowtorch has been applied again to the NT Government to allow the newly arrived Vanuatu workers to quarantine on farms, including in the Katherine region.
A second planeload of 160 seasonal workers touched down in Darwin yesterday and were immediately bussed to the Howard Springs camp for two weeks' quarantine as ordered by the government.
Senator Sam McMahon has renewed her call to the government to allow the workers to head to farms before the mango harvest is lost.
Farmers are also puzzled why the workers are forced into quarantine when Sydney-risers (from last Friday) and New Zealanders (from tis Friday) are allowed into the Territory and can bypass quarantine.
Both NSW and New Zealand have active cases of coronavirus, Vanuatu has never had a case.
"The hard-working NT farmers have produced another great crop of mangoes and with the arrival of the seasonal workers, the mangoes will soon be in our grocery stores and supermarkets around the country, if the NT Government changes its stance to allow workers to complete their quarantine on farm.
"Many of our larger producers have the capacity to quarantine workers on their farms so they can start picking immediately, as they are allowed to do in Qld.
"Currently workers are required to quarantine at the Howard Springs facility, which will mean by the time they are released much of the crop will be on the ground."
The first planeload of Vanuatu seasonal workers arrived in the Top End a month ago and have been crucials to the earlier harvest in the Darwin rural area.
The focus of the harvest is now moving to Katherine, where most of the nation's mangoes are grown, and then to Mataranka.
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