Committee recommends changes to address backpacker shortage

THE Joint Standing Committee on Migration has today tabled an interim report on its inquiry into the Working Holiday Maker program.

“During the course of the Committee’s public hearings, it quickly emerged that a major shortage in agricultural labour is emerging,” Committee chair Julian Leeser MP said.

“Time after time, the submissions and witnesses to this inquiry told the Committee about the effect that a lack of working holiday makers entering Australia would have on the upcoming harvest season,” Mr Leeser said.

“The Committee took the decision to publish an interim report, making recommendations that aim to assist the Parliament and the Government in responding to the urgency of the labour shortages.”

The Committee’s key recommendations focus on using Australians and temporary visa holders currently residing in Australia to fill the shortfall for the current season. In addition the Committee also considered that the Federal Government with the State and Territory governments and industry organisations should work together to recruit additional people under the Seasonal Workers Program and Pacific Labour Scheme to fill urgent shortfalls in agriculture.

The Committee will continue the Working Holiday Maker inquiry, and report on the wider terms of reference later in 2020.

The interim report can be found at this link.


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