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Mickel to address banana industry labour shortage woes

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The Employment Minister will meet north Queensland banana growers today to discuss the growing labour shortage.

Banana production has now reached the same level as pre-Cyclone Larry, with prices now about $4 per kilogram on supermarket shelves.

Minister John Mickel will host an employment summit today in Cairns, in the state's far north.

The chief executive of the Australian Banana Growers Association, Tony Heidrich, says a shortage of fruit pickers means farmers are falling behind on workloads and fruit quality is suffering.

"What the cyclone has really done is emphasise the problems that we had and compounded them to some extent, particularly in regards to the shortage of skilled labour - jobs within the banana industry that require a certain level of skill or training," he said.

""There's also some issues with accommodation."

[News Source]

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