HARD WORK: Coutts Crossing man Jamie Irwin tried to find a job at Grafton jail, but instead finds himself driving a 18.5 tonne loader on a cotton farm at Warren.
HARD WORK: Coutts Crossing man Jamie Irwin tried to find a job at Grafton jail, but instead finds himself driving a 18.5 tonne loader on a cotton farm at Warren. Tim Howard

Jamie chasing work all around Australia

COUTTS Crossing man Jamie Irwin knows all about the difficulties of getting a good job in regional Australia.

In the past two years he was has been chasing work from central Victoria to central Queensland, working the crops, building barriers on the Pacific Highway bypass near Byron Bay and working the water slide at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.

"Right now I'm driving a 18.5 tonne loader out at Warren working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week dropping cotton into a gin," he said.

"It's my 14th day straight and I've got another week at least before I'll get a break."

While the paycheck is good and welcome, the seasonal nature of the work means a lot of the money is being used to clear up credit card debts.

"It was payday last week and I was able to send a big chunk of money back home to whack off on the credit card," he said.

"It seems like a lot of money, but really it just gets you back to square one."

He's only doing it for the money and is well aware of the cost of working away from his young family.

"The isolation really gets to you," he said. "I'm living in a little old caravan. It'll be a rough couple months, but I'll make some decent coin.

"This job will look good on my resume and hopefully I can use the money to get some more tickets and qualifications. I'm not afraid of hard work."


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