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Tuesday, 24 February 1987
Page: 660

(Question No. 4942)

Mr Maher asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 26 November 1986:

Why are working holiday visas for persons under 25 years of age restricted to married couples without children or single persons.

Mr Hurford —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The intention of the Working Holiday Maker Scheme is to allow young people holidaying and travelling in another country the right to work in order to supplement travel funds. It provides young people with wider opportunities to appreciate the culture and general way of life of another country for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding.

The groups intended to benefit from this facility are young single people, or young people who have been married only a short time, who are able to move about freely in keeping with the spirit of the Scheme unencumbered by personal or career related considerations.

A recent survey indicated 95 per cent of working holidaymakers entering Australia are single, they travel extensively and mostly work in service occupations as cleaners, hotel/motel staff, waiters etc.

To offer this facility to couples or persons with young children would be to change the fundamental nature of the Scheme.