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Backpacker industry responds to ACTU negativity on WHV

January 22nd, 2019 | | 88 days

In response to the ACTU attempting to influence the Labour Party regarding the WHV, the backpacker industry has responded in a positive way.

Backpacker Operators Association NSW (BOA) and Adventure Queensland (AQ) are preparing responses for the ACTU outlining the benefits of the Working Holiday Maker scheme i.e.

1. Economic and social benefits for the tourism industry and local communities/associated businesses (hospitality etc).

2. Each WHM spends approximately $10K on their trip, and there are 200,000 WHM p.a. in Australia i.e. value of WHMs is $2BN annually.

3. Research undertaken by Flinders University shows that for every 100 WHMs who come, six additional jobs for Australians are created.

4. WHMs provide a valuable, mobile seasonal labour force for famers at harvest time.

5. Reciprocity of the scheme is a benefit for Australians, being a two-way cultural exchange program, enabling young Aussies to have working holidays overseas in over 40 countries.

ED: It is imperative for the agriculture sector to use WHMs as a labour force in rural areas. Just as important is the flow on economic effect to other parts of the backpacker industry – accommodation, hospitality, tours and tourist related industries.

Does the ACTU really believe that backpackers are taking jobs away from Aussies? Perhaps its high time they do some field research and ask the farmers whether Aussies are doing these jobs or are even prepared to.

Government initiatives to use Aussie unemployed have been an abject failure to date. How will this change?

It’s time for our industry to speak up. Have your say!!

Source: BOA/AQ

Sourced by Mike Barrow





8 Responses

  1. The ‘field research’ is there – it’s called the “Seasonal Work Incentive Trial” and allows Aussies to earn up to $5K without losing the dole if they do harvest work…. the scheme cost $27.5M to implement, and in the past 18 months a grand total of 333 people have taken up the challenge (which aggregated over the 2 year trial period, means each participant cost the government $61,937 to place!) https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-12-04/welfare-harvest-trial-labelled-failure-with-low-uptake/10577082

    • Mike Barrow says:

      Thanks Silke for jumping on this one with the Government stats. Aussies simply won’t do many of the jobs backpackers are prepared to undertake for their 88 days. Wake up ACTU.

  2. Mark McLaren says:

    I can’t believe they are having this debate again, why don’t these lazy politicians get off their backsides and go and visit the farmers and ask the questions about Australians doing the farm work in sub standard conditions, it doesn’t happen.What about tourism is this not an industry, does this not create jobs. Stop being one eyed and use your brains we pay you to use.

    • John George says:

      Would be wary of the …substandard conditions … generally conditions are whatever they are, hot, cold, dusty, smelly which is the way it is etc. The seasonal nature of work and the need to be mobile as work is spread around the country and the growth of a 24 hour economy soaking up students from a potential farm workforce seem to me to be obvious reasons why young Aussies are not interested in this work. They are forging careers, building relationships and settling down: seasonal work no longer fits those aspirations.
      In Mildura there are some scholarships being offered to attract young people into horticulture, through Tafe and a couple of larger employers, and getting a good response. Base level seasonal work – backpackers are a better answer than anything a union can dream up.

  3. wendi aylward says:

    With such uncertainty around the globe, promoting cultural exchange has never been so important. Encouraging young people to travel breaks down prejudices and facilitates cultural understanding and makes for a brighter future for all of us. Lets not forget that among these travellers are our next generation of leaders and decision makers.

    The economic benefits and job creation they offer Australia are significant. The ACTU needs to look at the evidence, talk with industry and not forget the thousands of young Australians who are afforded similar opportunities every year.

    • Macca says:

      Many of these young Australians working overseas under the program are the sons and daughters of our politicians and ACTU members

  4. Joanna Burnet says:

    The ACTU just needs to take a quick field trip to Canada – go as far as Vancouver and you will find just about every cafe and restaurant with Aussie staff – and if you drive up to Whistler there are dozens manning the ski lifts, teaching snowboarding and working in the hotels and restaurants. This is a truly global cultural exchange.- and these young Aussies have a sense of adventure – rather than sit at home and wait for the dole each week. Perhaps it should be compulsory for every aspiring politician to have a year working abroad.

  5. Macca says:

    I first suggested the second year working holiday visa to the Hon. Bruce Bair MP at the 2003, ABIC Sydney conference. He was representing the Minister for Immigration, Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs. He asked me to put it in writing in return I was told to meet the Minister for IM&IA Peter McGauran in 2004. In 2005 Peter McGauran became Minister for Agriculture who I met a number of times before the second year visa was introduced.

    We have seen many situations where the program has let down many but sadly we have seen these same situations with in the Pacific Island Workers scheme, Seven Eleven stores and the hospitality industry.

    Limiting the Working Holiday Visa program would ignore the benefits that the backpackers bring to many regional areas who suffer from falling farm prices, drought, bushfires, cyclones and many of the problems that are thrown at the people in these areas.

    Not only do the backpackers fill the gap in these short term jobs, leaving the money earn but on returning home act as ambassadors for our tourism industry and the produce they have worked on.

    I fail to see why Professor Joanna Howe is leading the push in winding back the WHV when she is the main advocate to increase the number of Pacific Island Workers

    Peter McMahon
    Building owner of Cambrai Backpackers Hostel, Maffra Vic