Picking jobs on offer for locals

Applications for jobs at the Mountain Blue Farm at Tabulam are now being accepted, and anyone interested in being employed there is urged to get in quickly.

Around 100 pickers have already started, taking off the early berries, but new recruits will have an early September start. A BEST Employment-funded bus of six retrenched Wallangarra Meatworkers and 11 other jobseekers went down to the farm for a reconnoitre last Tuesday, and they liked what they saw.

“Mountain Blue is happy to take on people, as long as they meet the requirements,” Tenterfield Shire Council’s business services officer Harry Bolton said.

“Those that went on Tuesday received a good briefing on conditions of employment, and pay rates and work conditions. The pickers that are already working there seemed happy.”

Details are being worked out on transportation options, but it will depend largely on how many want to take up the offer. BEST Employment is looking at funding a bus for the main season (September to November), working in conjunction with other employment providers.

Should transport funding be required beyond this, Mr Bolton said approaches could be made to state member of parliament Thomas George to seek additional support. There may be the possibility to make use of a private bus, but school buses aren’t an option given the clash in time schedules.

There are also camping provisions for those not wanting to commute each day.

Mr Bolton said all those who made the trip this week were keen to apply, having found the pay and work conditions very good.

“It’s giving people an opportunity,” he said.

“Working down there is far better than being on the dole.”

Mountain Blue’s Gabe Kerz who is overseeing recruitment at the Tabulam facility said while applications for other vacancies will probably close off at the start of next week due to the volumes received, applications for pickers at the River Run farm in Tabulam will remain open, and locals are very much encouraged to apply.

“We always support locals, they go to the top of the list, and the redundant meatworkers will be given preference,” Ms Kerz said.

Ms Kerz said there are more than enough picking jobs available, and locals just need to get their applications in. To apply, go to mountainblue.com.au and click on the employment tab.