Migrant farm workers from Asian nations will be offered a path to permanent residency under a long-awaited agriculture visa.
The category, which will be in place from September 30, will apply to skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers according to new details released on Monday.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the government would negotiate with individual countries to join the scheme.
Vietnam, Thailand, The Philippines, South Korea and other Asian nations are expected to be among the first included.
"Ones that we have already got very close and long-lasting immigration arrangements with will be the easiest for us to sign up as quickly as we can," Mr Littleproud told the ABC.
The agriculture visa will initially be created under a tweak to regulations around another category while legislation is drafted.
Mr Littleproud said it would exist alongside Pacific farm labour schemes.
"This is the biggest structural reform to Australian agricultural labour in our nation's history," he said.
"It's also about bringing the next generation of migrants to rural Australia, to grow agriculture and grow regional Australia."
The program will offer a path to settle in regional Australia for migrant farm workers who enter on the visa.
It will include meat processing, fisheries and forestry sectors, as well as fruit and vegetable picking and other farm jobs.
While there is no cap on agriculture visa places, coronavirus travel restrictions could prevent large numbers of people entering under the category.
Mr Littleproud urged state governments to make more quarantine places available for farm employees.
"If it wasn't for resources and agriculture, our economy would be buggered during COVID-19," he said.
"They were the ones that kept on going when everyone else was put under the doona.
"They kept on making a quid for this nation and we just need to repay that now with some courage and conviction."
The Nationals are claiming the visa category as a major win after years of coalition in-fighting.
Liberals relented after Australia agreed to scrap the requirement for UK backpackers to do an 88-day work stint in regional areas to extend working holidays.
National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson said workforce shortages were putting a handbrake on regional economies.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus, farmers' reliance on an international workforce, particularly during the peak seasonal work periods," she said.
"The onus is now on state and territory governments and their chief health officers to approve quarantine arrangements to safely house incoming foreign workers."
Ms Simson urged all sides of politics to back the legislation when it comes before parliament.
Australian Fresh Produce Alliance chair Anthony Di Pietro said all states should follow the lead of Queensland and Tasmania in quarantining overseas farm workers.
"Now that we have an agriculture visa and expansion of the Pacific programs, we need all states and territory governments to work with industry to develop quarantine solutions," he said.
Australian Associated Press