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Working Holiday Maker expansion a boost for Port Augusta.

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Media Centre

Working Holiday Maker expansion a boost for Port Augusta

03 May 2006

Port Augusta's livestock and grains producers are winners under an expansion to the Working Holiday Maker scheme announced today by Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Amanda Vanstone.

‘Under the expansion to the scheme, overseas backpackers who spend three months employed in cropping - or a variety of other primary industries like fishing, forestry and shearing - can apply for a second working holiday maker visa,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Livestock, wheat and barley are worth more than $300 million to the northern region.

‘All working holiday makers also will be allowed to work for the same employer for an extra three months. And they can study in Australia for four months instead of the current three months.

‘These changes mean a win-win situation for employers and working holiday makers and will help boost the Australian economy.

‘Working holiday makers often have highly sought-after skills and can make a positive long-term contribution to the economy.

‘The expansion of the scheme follows successful changes to the working holiday maker visa in November 2005, which enabled people who spent three months doing seasonal harvest work in regional Australia to become eligible for a second visa.

‘More than 1500 working holiday makers applied between November and January to stay an extra year in Australia.’

Senator Vanstone said both employers and working holiday makers would benefit from the rule change allowing working holiday makers to spend longer in the one job.

‘It will enable them to retain trained staff for longer and allow working holiday makers to apply for jobs that require a stay of longer than three months,’ she added.

Minister's media contact: 0417 445 886