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Second year working holiday visas, rural work and the perils for backpackers

July 12th, 2017 | | industry

In light of the deaths of two young backpackers travelling in Australia last August, the mother of Mia Ayliffe, Rosie Ayliffe (pictured), has launched a website to warn and also educate young travellers looking for seasonal work in Australia.

In an interview with the ABC she challenges the Trade and Tourism Minister, Stephen Ciobo, to reallocate the $10m spent on promoting youth tourism. She wants it spent on lobbying for reform to the 88 days work scheme. WATCH VIDEO.

Certainly there are plenty of unpleasant stories of young people being exploited in rural Australia. The Byte has covered many of these over the past few years.

Perhaps our sector needs to ask the Federal Government some questions before any more such incidents occur. Is this an opportunity for BYTAP? (Backpacker Youth Tourism Advisory Panel). However, an advisory panel is great, but it holds little or no clout in parliament. The real lobby in this area lies with the agriculture and horticultural sector, as was proved during the backpacker tax saga. Their lobbyists to government proved true value.

So long as the fruit and veggies get picked, does the government really want to get involved? Or does the government really not give a damn about the inbound youth industry. Certainly the trialling of the new incentive scheme to attract young Aussies into rural areas to work will be interesting. Only time will tell if this is a solution or a band aid fix for farmers in need of workers.

In the meantime young travellers continue to arrive in Australia, many seeking work, many ending up in the rural sector.

By the way, there are also good rural work news stories too!! I recently met a lovely Welsh couple who are working in rural Victoria. They applied for jobs whilst in Cambodia via Gumtree. On arrival in Melbourne they were met by the family and taken to the farm near Warrnambool.  They have been given a cottage and a van and are loving it.

Sourced and written by Mike Barrow

Source: ABC Rural





3 Responses

  1. Joanna says:

    There is no real trouble with the 88 day second visa programme – the problem is with the labour hire gangs and the working hostels – in many cases one and the same.

    Unfortunately this girl was in a place where anyone is taken in because more people mean more income.

    Not every place is like that.

    I did not watch the programme about this, but knew it was happening and was nervous there might be a huge negative impact. I had an Australian lady on the phone this morning wanting an Indonesian girl to join our course and have a station job – very nervous having seen the programme – but she was relieved when I said we had nothing to do with fruit picking.

    It is sad that this lady wishes to help the demise of the Australian Fruit and Vegetable industry.

  2. Macca says:

    The murders at the Home Hill Hostel could have happened anywhere or place as it was in the hands of a French national with mental health issues. The farm working program can not be held responsible for these deaths.

    I first suggested a labour hire licensing scheme for labour hire contractors on this site some time back. This was taken up by politicians and in some states inquiries were held into the working backpacker industry. This was later taken up by the Federal Government which we are waiting for answers to put a stop to those operators that abuse the program, the workers, the visa and have hi-jacked this industry.