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Working holiday makers welcome to Australia: Ruddock

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Mr Philip Ruddock

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 (06) 277 7860

MPS 1/96


The cap on the number of working holiday makers allowed into Australia will be raised, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock, has announced today.

"The cap of 33,000 working holiday maker visas which may be granted overseas has almost been reached," Mr Ruddock said.

"I have decided that the cap for visas granted offshore will be lifted from 33,000 to 42,000. The increase in the working holiday maker cap is in line with growth in previous years.

"The program is of great benefit to Australians," Mr Ruddock said.

A Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research (BIMPRt study has found that young working holiday makers have a positive effect on the economy through their aggregated demand for goods and services.

"The program is reciprocal with Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A seventh country, Malta, is joining the program in July," Mr Ruddock said.

"It has also enabled more than 26,000 young Australians this year to take advantage of the reciprocal program which allows them to travel and work.

"The working holiday maker program promotes international and cultural understanding. It generates cultural benefits for those coming to Australia and for those young Australians going overseas.

"The program promotes Australia as a place to visit and a place to do business.

"Interest in the program has grown in previous years and has been applauded by the tourism, horticultural, rural and other industries which rely on casual labour at peak times.

"Some of these industries are now close to their peak times, and have been concerned at the possible shortage of casual labour. I have listened to their concerns, and believe that Australia has more to gain than lose from raising the cap on the program, imposed by the previous government.

"I have asked my Department to continue to monitor the program to gauge the impact of this decision."

CANBERRA 23 March 1996

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