Progress Association talks housing with Costa

28th Mar 2023

Costa Tomato Exchange and Jobs Australia representatives met with the Guyra Progress Association last week to discuss a number of topics including housing. In November last year, Costa and Jobs Australia hosted community drop-in sessions to gauge community sentiment on the housing of seasonal workers. As a follow up to those sessions, Jobs Australia is continuing to explore the long-term possibility of purpose-built housing.
Scot MacDonald, Costa State Manager, said wherever possible Costa was aiming to utilise larger accommodation venues for direct hire seasonal workers, so as to minimise as much as possible the use of residential housing. This includes utilising former student residences at the University of New England in Armidale.
“We are continuing to look for new options and alternatives as we recognise there is pressure on housing stock in all regional communities, including Guyra,” Mr MacDonald said. “We are committed to providing accommodation that meets all the relevant standards and will continue to work collaboratively with the community where issues arise.”
Costa’s Tomato glasshouses provide employment for more than 750 people, who come from 40 nationalities. This includes seasonal workers, who are here for periods of six to nine months as part of the Federal Government’s Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Program.
Many other staff are employed permanently and have come into the area with their families to settle permanently.
“We are proud of the very diverse make-up of our workforce and the richness this brings to our operations and our communities,” Mr MacDonald said.
“We appreciate the strong support we have from the community and will continue to work closely with stakeholders.”
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