Added 24 Nov 2020 & amended along the way

Stop the Rot; pick the crop!

This website is primarily an AFL footy website, but Australia has a shortage of fruit pickers this season – due to COVID-19 and the absence of back-packers.  YOU CAN HELP AND GET PAID FOR IT!
How?  By being a fruit picker
Start immediately in many cases
Work in pairs or groups

Main areas needing help: Mildura and Shepparton

2021 updated info (subject to change – check when contacting Madec)
Agriculture Victoria announced the Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus which is designed to encourage jobseekers to give seasonal harvest work a go and give farmers the workforce certainty they need.

The bonus is paid directly to workers in two instalments:
– An initial $810, after 10 days of work within a 30-day period
– A further $1,620, after an additional 30 days of work within a 90-day period.

 The program is available to workers who take up seasonal harvest roles on Victorian horticulture farms, provided they:

  • meet the work requirements
  • have not worked in agriculture in Victoria in the past three months
  • start work on or after 17 February 2021
  • are 18 years or older and have work rights in Australia
  • are not employed under the Pacific Labour Scheme or Seasonal Worker Program.

 Workers will be required to provide evidence that they have met the work requirements, but don’t need to register for the bonus until they have completed their initial 10 days of work. In the meantime, to keep evidence of their employment and work hours – such as payslips, timesheets or via Fair Work’s Record My Hours app. When they’re ready, eligible workers can apply online.  In conjunction with the Sign on Bonus the Commonwealth Government’s Relocation Rebate can be applied for if eligible

The first plane load of Pacific Islander workers destined for Victorian farms arrived in Tasmania On Friday 19 March here .  The attraction and retention of local workers is still required and the Jobs Victoria Online Hub (formally Working for Victoria) continues to attract a local workforce and has a screening section with up to 15 questions to ensure candidates understand the specific nature of the job and the work involved.

 Job seekers can learn more about the Big Victorian Harvest or register on the Jobs Victoria Online Hub today

(if links don’t work here, google the blue bits or call 1800 number below)

Or promote to others who can pick!
Keep fruit prices down at the supermarkets.  News reports mention a possible price rise to fruit and vegies if workers aren’t forthcoming

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fruit-pick-pic.jpg

Call the National Harvest Information Line on 1800 062 332 for jobs and guidance about accommodation and / or go to

Harvest work – is it for me?
Harvest work can involve jobs like fruit or vegetable picking, packing, pruning and planting. It can be rewarding but physically demanding and is not gender specific. One farmer’s best ever grape picker was his sister.  It’s often hot work, but the air is generally a lot less polluted than the big cities.

Victoria’s regions need seasonal workers at different times.
Learn more about seasonal harvest work on the Agriculture Victoria website:

This webpage provides information on seasonal work, where it is and when.

The webpage also provides links to the Working for Victoria platform and Harvest Trail. These platforms enable you to register your interest in seasonal work and apply for seasonal jobs.

There is lots of support available. The Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job is providing financial support to assist with the costs of relocating to regional areas. If you need to move away from home to take up short-term agricultural work for at least 6 weeks and at least 120 hours of work, you may be able to get financial assistance to help cover the costs of your move.

This link explains how to apply for relocation assistance money re short term agricultural work:

This link is the Backpackers Guide 2019 (pre-COVID)
Pages 94-97 discussed fruit picking specifically. It gives fruit picking seasons by state on page 113ff

Details: the Harvest Trail is run by MADEC
who are a not for profit employment agency specially catering to finding workers for the harvest.  In some cases, workers can get up to $6,000 Govt assistance if they need to relocate to work.

If you ring the 1800 number, they can explain employment AND accommodation options.  Employment is generally for adults, but employers may consider employing minors who are accompanied by an adult (eg a family with a 16 year old or a group of footballers including one under 18 person).

Fruit Picking Fact Sheet
download the fact sheet here

also see

The Big Victorian Harvest landing page:
This is Victoria’s branded advertising campaign page, which enables both employers and jobseekers to select the information they are seeking.

  • How to get a harvest job:
    Perhaps the most important page for jobseekers, this one informs them where, when and what jobs are available during harvest, how much they can expect to be paid and where jobs are listed.  There are a few job platforms and pathways.   Working for Victoria
    is the state government’s online job-matching platform and  Harvest Trail is the national online job matching platform and provides guided support to obtain a job on farm. There are also some local regional job matching options such as Pick for Shep
    – which is an initiative of Fruit Growers Victoria industry association and Greater Shepparton City Council in the Goulburn Murray region.
  • What’s involved and extra benefits:
    – this is where the relocation rebate (with links to the relevant Commonwealth Government website) and the eligibility to work are outlined.

RELOCATION ASSISTANCE/MADEC:  The Commonwealth Government’s relocation assistance has been updated to reflect that the job seeker must have an offer for eligible short term agricultural work they are planning to relocate to take up or have relocated and started in an eligible agriculture job after 1 November 2020 and there is still the requirement to move to regional areas for at least six weeks.   They need to discuss their relocation needs and/or costs incurred with their employment services provider (Harvest Trail or Job Active provider)  who assesses their eligibility for support under the program and the relocation costs they need assistance with.  The Harvest Trail website has a special Relocation page with all information about the relocation assistance to take up short-term agricultural work.

The Vic Govt has set up a hot line for job seekers:
1300 208 575

And, finally, SPREAD THE WORD! Even if you cannot pick, you can talk, text, tweet and post this on your social media sites.

Any queries / questions, send email to
with “Fruit” in the title.

People who do NOT barrack for Richmond, stop reading here!.

Added 26 Oct 2020
Great job by Richmond winning its 3rd flag in 4 years and fulfilling Brendon Gale’s prophecy a decade ago of 3 flags by 2020

Added 03 June 2020

The AFL season recommences 11 June 2020; go to 2020 season here

2020 Rounds 1 – 8

for further details

Added 22 March 2020

The AFL season has just been suspended until 31 May 2020!

Added 16 March 2020

2020 preview – see 2020 season page and drop down box

Added 28 Sept 2019  well done Tigers who are 2019 premiers after a huge 89 point win!

Recent additions to the page. Penny’s got a job looking after two employment seekers.  The story will continue below with later additions at the bottom.

Added 15 May 2019

While minding the office here at, I have just had another task landed upon me.  Mal Prop and his cousin Poppy Copp are both looking for employment.

My first interview with them:
Me: so what sort of job are you both looking at?
Mal: well, we want to apply for the type of job where a new position comes up on a regular basis…
Poppy: .. and where you don’t need fancy qualifications to be considered – no degrees, no cert 3 or cert 4 stuff; no courses…
Mal: …and good pay, too…with no intelligence test needed
Poppy: that’s especially important for Mal!
Me: so what job are you looking for?
Mal: Poppy and I want to be the Prime Ministers.  We’ve formed our own party.  With so many snakes in politics, we’ve created an un-snake-like party.  It’s called the Australian Sports Party, or ASP for short.
Me: but you cannot both be Prime Minister!
Poppy: we’ve solved that too. I’ll be Prime Minister first
Mal (interjecting): no, me!…
Poppy continues: and then Mal.  Mal and I have some bi-polar policies – you know, those we both agree upon.

Mal: first, all live sport has to be synchro-meshed. So the radio and TV and internet having it all at exactly the same time – down to a micro-second. Next, you can subscribe to pay TV and only get sport, without having to pay for other less important stuff.  And it won’t rain during sports games any more if we are elected.  Only between 3 and 6am. All scammers will be put in stocks in the city square.  “Bounces” on websites and phone will be banned – you know, when you go to click on one thing and then the advert pops up and you click on the wrong thing.
Now for the Mal only policies.  Mal just happens to be the name of the two most popular Prime Ministers ever in Australia.. shut up Poppy…first policy – no more exporting of coal {crowd wearing green and red shirts cheer}. We’re going to use it all up here instead of wind and solar {crowd wearing green and red shirts boo}.  Next, the average executive gets paid 50 times as much as an average person.  This is not right {crowd wearing green and red shirts cheer}.  I’ll get it up to over 100 times where it belongs {crowd wearing green and red shirts boo}. Next, big tax cuts {crowd wearing green and red shirts cheer}… for big business {crowd wearing green and red shirts boo}. Next, no immigration while I am PM {crowd wearing green and red shirts makes no sound – they have already left the area}. I’ll boost corporate profits by keeping the basic wage low. House prices will go up and up. The economy will going gang-busters and this will be good news for all the ultra-rich. Being a member of a union will be banned. I’ll lock up all those weirdo students and maybe a few who aren’t weirdo as well.  I’ll be the most unsympathetic PM ever. Then, when everyone has had enough of me and they feel like they need a change of government, they don’t!  Poppy will become Prime Minister.

Poppy: when I am PM, Australia will have the most expensive and unreliable power supply in the western world. I stand for free speech.  Free speech is when people agree with me.  When people disagree with me, that is an attack on free speech and these people will be guilty of a crime. Anyone with a phobia will be in the gun when I am PM. I’ll be against Homer Simpson-phobics, I slam dunk-a-phobics and Yarra Trams-phobics. Some people have accused me of being anti some mining and farming activities.  Incorrect! I am against ALL mining and farming activities.  They’ll all suffer when I am PM.  And don’t worry about high house prices. I’ll bring them crashing down with a thud – and the whole economy with it; I’ll fling upon the borders of Australia to let in all the persecuted people..and also those who persecute them will be able to come in as well.
Me: (thinking: they’ll be looking for other jobs next week) well, all the best with that.  You can both report in after the election