Skybury Farms

Transitioning workers from seasonal work to the Pacific Labour Scheme

Skybury Tropical Plantation in Mareeba in Queensland joined the Seasonal Worker Programme in 2018, recruiting workers from Papua New Guinea. The business is pleased with the workers it has recruited and intends to now recruit from the Pacific Labour Scheme.

‘They’ve really brought enthusiasm to the operation’

Skybury grows coffee and red papaya across 450 acres. Like other farms in the district, it faced a shortage of local labour. As a solution, it joined the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) in early 2018, recruiting workers from Papua New Guinea (PNG).     

Skybury’s business development manager, Paul Fagg, said the experience has been positive. 

“The SWP has worked very well for us,” he said. 

“The team leaders of our picking crews will argue each morning over who gets the PNG workers because they’re so good at what they do. 

“They’ve really brought enthusiasm to the operation and a great work ethic as well.”

Skybury plans to bring more Pacific island workers over, identifying those with managerial skills and transitioning them to the PLS so that they can stay for up to three years.

A Papua New Guinean worker picking papaya at Skybury Farms in Mareeba, Queensland