Canning fruit growers today received the good news that a re-elected Turnbull Government will review the status of the Perth Hills region for inclusion in the second Working Holiday Visa initiative.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and the Member for Canning Andrew Hastie today met with representatives of the Hills Orchardist Improvement Group to discuss the visa initiative.
Backpackers in Australia on Working Holiday visas can apply for a second 12 month visa if they perform three months’ work in regional areas in certain industries, including agriculture. Currently, some growers in the hills horticultural areas are prevented from being able to participate in the second year visa initiative because the postcodes of 6076 and 6111 are not included in the list of eligible areas.
At today’s meeting Mr Dutton told orchardists that, if returned to Government, the Coalition would investigate the matter with a view to addressing this anomaly and its impact on horticulture in the Perth Hills.
Mr Dutton said the growers at today’s meeting made a strong case to be able to participate in the system, which would make it more attractive for backpackers to work for fruit and vegetable producers in the region.
The Member for Canning Andrew Hastie said he welcomed the Minister’s announcement, which would bring greater certainty for growers and working holiday makers looking to travel to the region.
“The agricultural industry is vital to the Perth Hills region and I know many of the growers present at today’s meeting will be encouraged by the Coalition’s commitment to strengthening the system,” said Andrew Hastie.