Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited Tuna Australia member Walker Seafoods Australia in Mooloolaba on Tuesday 28 July to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business.
Owner and CEO Pavo Walker told the prime minister how the pandemic and subsequent lockdown had limited their ability to hire staff and get out on the water.
“We’ve lost a lot of crew,” he said.
Mr Walker explained that fishing is a “particularly hard job.”
“We rely on 482 crews, experienced guys from overseas. It’s very hard to get local guys to go to sea for that long without Facebook or mobile phones, so we’re reliant on our 482s.”
A 482 is a temporary visa that lets an employer sponsor a suitably skilled worker to fill a position they can’t fill with an Australian staff member.
Australian businesses are adapting and innovating their way through the COVID-19 crisis.Today I visited Pavo and Heidi from Walker Seafoods Australia on the Sunshine Coast. Through the instant asset write-off scheme they have been able to purchase a new blast freezer, which has allowed them to adapt their business and keep going strong through COVID. They have also been able to keep all their staff on thanks to the cash flow support payments and JobKeeper program.I hear stories like this every day from right across the country. And I want to encourage business to keep adapting and changing, because that's what creates jobs and will take Australia forward so we come out of this crisis even stronger.
Posted by Scott Morrison (ScoMo) on Tuesday, 28 July 2020
During the visit, the prime minister learned how various government grants have assisted Walker Seafoods during the pandemic.
“Through the instant asset write-off scheme they [Walker Seafoods] have been able to purchase a new blast freezer, which has allowed them to adapt their business and keep going strong through COVID,” the prime minister posted on social media.
“They have also been able to keep all their staff on thanks to the cash flow support payments and JobKeeper program.”
Walker Seafoods posted about the event on social media, calling it a “big day”.