Changes to Australia's seasonal worker program and
backpacker visas have been welcomed by Australia's agricultural industry as
something that will provide immediate relief, but the industry will not give up
the fight for a dedicated agriculture visa.
Minister Scott Morrison announced the visa changes today, effective
immediately, at a strawberry farm in southern Queensland as part of a four-day
tour of the state.
changes are designed to keep workers on farms for longer.
are in response to widespread calls for a solution to the shortage of farm
labour, and after grower groups criticised the Prime Minister's earlier
proposal to engage unemployed
Australians to fill the gap.
the relaxed rules, Pacific Islanders
taking up seasonal work will be able to stay three months longer, and
the age limit for working holiday visas for some countries will be lifted to
will no longer need to leave jobs every six months, and will be able to triple
the length of their stay if they do extra agricultural work.
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(ABC NEWS: 12/11/18)