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Working Holiday Maker scheme expansion bears fruit for Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

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Media Centre Working Holiday Maker scheme expansion bears fruit for Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula 03 May 2006

Vignerons and farmers in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula will benefit from expansions to the Working Holiday Maker Scheme announced today by Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Amanda Vanstone.

“From July, overseas backpackers can spend six months, instead of three, working for one employer under the expanded scheme,” Senator Vanstone said.

“Both employers and working holiday makers will be winners from the change.

“It will enable employers to retain trained staff for longer and allow working holiday makers to apply for jobs that require a stay of longer than three months.

Other changes to the scheme will benefit dairy farmers and other primary industries in the areas.

From July, working holiday makers who spend three months employed in primary industries - such as dairy, fishing, shearing, butchery, forestry and general maintenance crop work - can apply for a second visa.

“The Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula accounts for almost half the state’s dairy farms and more than a third of total milk production in SA,” Senator Vanstone said.

“These changes mean a win-win situation for employers and working holiday makers and will help boost the Australian economy,” Senator Vanstone said.

“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 ,” she added.

The scheme has also been changed to allow visa holders to study in Australia for four months instead of the current three months.

Minister's media contact: 0417 445 886