Changes to visas like the Working Holiday visa mean the agricultural sector can retain workers and keep moving during the coronavirus pandemic.
Changes to visas like the Working Holiday visa mean the agricultural sector can retain workers and keep moving during the coronavirus pandemic.

Visa changes to keep agriculture industry growing

WORKING Holiday visas have been extended to help Hinkler businesses get their crops off amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new changes, working holiday makers employed in agriculture or food processing will be exempt from the six-month limitation with one employer and are eligible for a further visa to keep working in these sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.

People employed under the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme can also extend their stay for another year to work for approved employers.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said local businesses had raised concerns about not having a workforce without these changes being introduced.

"Many of our local producers rely on not just backpackers, but on these programs to ensure they can get their produce to market when it's ready," Mr Pitt said.

Visa holders who are looking to take up a job in a different region will still have to isolate for 14 days before starting a new job. Employers also need to provide safe accommodation that complies with social distancing rules.


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