Farm Guide VIC : 2008 - 2009
50 Horticulture Changes to the working holiday visa On the 1st November 2005, the Department of Immigration announced working holiday makers who undertake 3 months seasonal work in “regional Australia” are eligible to extend their visa by a further 12 months. The result has been a focus on harvest labour opportunities and the number of enquiries to the NHLIS call centre has significantly increased. Given these circumstances, the NHLIS urges all growers to lodge their positions on the Harvest Trail and to take advantage of this no cost service to source workers. Recently there were further changes announced to the Working Holiday Visa, whereby backpackers from the 1st of July 2006, are now able to work with one employer for up to 6 months. Feedback from growers and backpackers has been very positive, with many backpackers now keen to stay with a grower for a longer period, in a bid to extend their Visa. Accommodation and transport The lack of affordable accommodation and transport in key seasonal regions continues to act as a barrier to itinerant workers accessing harvest labour opportunities. Despite receiving direct enquiries about specific positions/ regions, NHLIS Call Centre operators are often forced to research alternate options due to the poor infrastructure in the pre-selected area. Growers and contractors are encouraged to prioritise accommodation and transport options for their workforce and invited to contact the NHLIS for information and advice on this matter.
2009 - 2010