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More working holiday makers in 1996-97

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

Up to 50 000 working holiday makers will be allowed to visit Australia in 1996-97 - 8 000 more than last year, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, announced today.

W orking holiday makers are generally young people between 18-25 who come to Australia as tourists for up to a year and supplement their funds through incidental work. The only restriction is that they must not work full-time for the same employer for more than three months.

'The working holiday maker programme has great benefit for those industries which rely heavily on casual labour at peak times, particularly the tourism, horticultural, and rural industries," Mr Ruddock said.

"In addition, recent research has found that working holiday makers have a positive effect on the economy through their aggregate demand for goods and services.

"Australia also gains from the impression they take home with them when they spread the word that Australia is a friendly, beautiful country and a priority place to visit and to do business in."

The increase in numbers follows the Minister's decision in March this year to increase the numbers to 42 000, after the previous government capped the figure unexpectedly at 33 000.

Australia has reciprocal arrangements with seven countries (Canada, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Malta and the United Kingdom).

"The Government welcomes young, hard-working people who will add to our tourism income and gain knowledge from the experience of visiting Australia," Mr Ruddock said.

The M inister also welcomed the inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker programme announced by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration.

Ί look forward to receiving the Committee's report which will be valuable for determining future directions for the programme", Mr Ruddock said.

CANBERRA 16 July 1996 Media inquiries Steve Ingram (06) 277 7860 0419 278 715

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144

MRS 35/96