One central NSW rural contractor says he's had to reluctantly join the bidding war for shearers.
Adon Williams of Williams Rural Contracting at Bogan Gate, near Parkes, has upped his offer to $4 a sheep shorn from this week.
"I know of others offering $10 a sheep, so I don't know how it's going to go," Mr Williams said.
The current award rate is $3.26 a head.
"Everyone is struggling to find new shearers, everyone is.
"We're all in the same boat, I could go up to $10 as well but it would probably not make a difference, the shearers just aren't out there."
Mr Williams is also offering a $500 cash sign-on fee if they agree to a four week stint.
"Help with fuel" as well as free accommodation, and free transport to work, is also part of the new offering.
"I have picked up six (potential shearers) in the past week but there's that much work around it's not funny.
"If I had 30 shearers I'd have the work for them."
Mr Williams said the pandemic restrictions on New Zealand shearers had highlighted a long-term problem.
"If we started training up a whole new crew of young shearers today we'd still have years to wait, and there is no guarantee they'd stay on."
He said the wool industry was facing a simple supply and demand question.
"When the Kiwis come back that will help and I'm not sure paying above award is working either, there's not enough shearers."
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