Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is using New Zealand shearers as an excuse to "have a crack" at the Federal Government, The Country's Australian correspondent Chris Russell says.
Under the new travel bubble, shearers and wool handlers from New Zealand can now travel to two Australian states, NSW and the Northern Territory, quarantine-free, and get straight to work on spring shearing.
The shearers would have to quarantine themselves when they returned to New Zealand "which costs them three grand - so there's not a lot of people doing it," Russell told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
Russell said there were "heaps and heaps" of wool producers who could not get their sheep shorn in Victoria.
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"[The NZ shearers] flew to Melbourne, had permits to allow them to go to Western Victoria and Chairman Dan down in the People's Republic stands up and says the Government should have never let them in."
Meanwhile, an industry representative has said the Kiwis shearers should have been praised for their work ethic and not "pooh-poohed by the Premier".
Shearing Contractors Association of Australia secretary Jason Letchford told ABC he thought there was "nothing illegal or incorrect" in the shearers' actions, as they followed process and had the correct permit to travel from metropolitan Melbourne to rural Victoria.
The Kiwi shearers were on the first flights out of New Zealand to Sydney, and they later went on to catch a flight to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, Letchford confirmed to ABC.
He believed the workers and their employers should have been applauded by Andrews, as they were travelling to the state to work and would be beneficial for the economy.
According to Letchford, before Covid-19, about 480 seasonal shearers travelled to Australia from New Zealand for the spring season.
He told the ABC he did not expect many shearers from New Zealand to "jump on aeroplanes" as the season was now halfway through.