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National shearer shortage looms

EACH year around 480 shearers and shed staff travel to Australia from New Zealand for the busy spring shearing season.

However, with ongoing international border closures, farmers and contractors are concerned the shutdowns may lead to a shearer shortage. 

Shearing Contractors Association of Australia (SCAA) secretary, Jason Letchford said border closures had a huge impact on the industry.

He said around 180 workers had tried to gain a permit to work in NSW over the past six weeks.

“This will be significant for the next six weeks, workers will be going north and into NSW for their season,” he said.

“Border closures have been huge and it’s important that they are open as workers transition back and forth through each state during their shearing season.

“As it heats up in Victoria, workers tend to migrate south and go from NSW back into Victoria and to South Australia.”

Mr Letchford said currently there were less than 2800 shearers in Australia.

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