A new ad campaign by the West Australian government aimed at enticing city workers to regional areas has been slammed for its unrealistic view of country life.
Called “Work and wander out yonder”, the admittedly gorgeous spot runs more like a tourism campaign for some of WA’s top attractions rather than highlighting the rigours of farm work or fruit picking.
The ad came about due to the closure of international and state borders creating a dire lack of travelling workers to complete seasonal farm work.
It has been widely panned by farming groups, with WA apple grower Steve Dilley describing it as “Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music“.
Check out the spot below:
Dilley telling Perth’s 6PR: “Full marks to the Government for trying but it’s [the ad’s] not going to cut it.”
The apple grower added that the government’s generous JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments were arguably proving more hinderance than help to finding workers.
“Obviously with JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments being readily available, you’d wonder why they’d bother getting off the couch,” said Dilley.
Strawberry farmer Neil Handasyde also wasn’t a fan of the campaign.
“They didn’t look like workers did they?” Handasyde told The Australian. “I know there’s a disconnect with rural and city but that doesn’t help. It looks like they’re on a wine tour.”
The opposition Liberal party also used the ad to take potshots at the WA Labor government.
The WA Liberals’ spokesman on agriculture, Dr Steve Thomas, said the campaign showed a lack of understanding after a massive farm header cutting through a crop was described as “the company car in the wheatbelt”.
“No farmer in their right mind is going to put a visiting metropolitan backpacker or new graduate trainee into a $750,000 header and send them out into the paddocks,” Dr Thomas said.
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