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The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called for the Australian Working Holiday Maker ( WHM) Visa scheme to be reconsidered, saying that working holiday makers are taking jobs from young Australians. Positions include harvest work, bar jobs, fruit picking positions.

This is a very bold statement given that the rate for youth unemployment in Australia is 4.2% which is almost a historic low.

“The average working holiday visa holder spends more than $13,000 during their eight-month stay, adding demand for goods and services to the Australian economy and helping to support tourism jobs and businesses as they travel around the country. While the average backpacker spends $5,400 and stays in the country for 73 nights.

In ATEC’s position paper, The Importance of the Working Holiday Visa, it showed that for each 100 WHM visitors to Australia, 6.3 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs are created – the notion that these visitors are taking jobs from young Australian people is simply wrong.

Looking back to June 2011 there was more than 185,0002 international tourists holding a WHV, this equates to a boost to Australian GDP of over $320 million and a boost to expenditure on goods and services in Australia of around $630 million.

It’s really hard to argue for the removal of the WHV scheme, Australian Youth unemployment is at all time lows and Working Holiday Makers are contributing so much to the economy.

For now it looks a certainty the Working Holiday Visa Scheme will stay in place but what happens next is anyones guess. From our point of view we can only see it expanding with countries such as Greece & Spain on the horizon.

So the question we ask is how much will you spend on your Working Holiday in Australia? Will you spend more or less then the average $13,000 ? Did you spend money on trianing, rsa certificate, travel and experiences? Share your experience with us.

Dimi /

G'day Guys, My name is Dimi, I'm one of the admins/starters of Workingholidayjobs.com.au . Freddie and I started this community to help working holiday makers and harvest workers find jobs in an easy and transparent manner. We're not just here to help you finding jobs, anything related to your working holiday down under, we will help try find a way to make it easier for you too achieve. Getting your tax done, deals, travel spots... you name it. If you ever have any questions or feedback please don't hesitate to ask. We're always looking for ways to improve the site and help meet our members needs and build a stronger community. Hope you're doing well and best of luck. Cheers Dimi

4 Responses to “Will The Working Holiday Visa Be Scrapped?”

  1. Marcela

    It seems to me that politics in this matter aren’t clear enough: if AUS needed a cheap labour, you got it; if AUS needed to increase the income around tourism, then you should improve the measures in that area instead (and I think I don’t need to mention the high offer of illegal work here in OZ, because is an open secret). Of course, the word “cheap” next to labour is what is at issue in this debate.

    In any case if there’s no factual proof of what the statement against WH says, the damage is still there because it helps to create that vision in which the working holiday maker is an undesireable one among the “residents” -the ones which aren’t resident for taxes purposes only- …then you have ads like “…if you apply and you aren’t a RESIDENT your messages will be treated as SPAM…” (capital letters included).

    I’m not an Australian, so I couldn’t say if WH this is truly helping the country or not in the current times. Perhaps in the past it did, but now seems that AUS economy isn’t in its best time. I’ve heard from several people, locals and travelers, that things aren’t just like the other days and not as easy as before. So, if the aim is to bring people from current troubled economies, like Spain or Greece to work, I will say that is something to rethink or at least meditate carefully. For instance and so far in my experience, as a current working holiday maker from South America, just because I cannot have a second year visa, my chances to get a farm job (even not a paid one) or similar one reduces enormously for not saying zero; the reason is simple: if they can get people for free or little money in exchange for them securing their 2nd year visa, why are they gonna choose a south american one?

    So, again I’m just saying that the government should think carefully about this kind of arrangements, for the sake of Australian people and for the sake of the foreign travelers.

  2. alan

    i have worked with backpackers for years and one thing they seem to complain about is that they pay a higher rate of tax than australians do so they contribute more taxes to econemy and usually most backpackers are great people

  3. Alm

    IT DOES NEED TO BE SCRAPPED! Many people are coming here completely mislead and end up in a worse situation! Exploitation is rife! The ‘high’ minimum wage is a joke if employers continue to pay half that that rate for cash in hand. Too many desperate people are lapping it up just to get a bit of income out here and perpetuating this pathetic system.
    Interestingly the article states: “The average working holiday maker spends more than $13,000 during their eight-month stay”. Isn’t the working holiday visa usually 1 full year? This basically indicates that people cannot stand to do the full year of being exploited and wasting any more time here. The Aussies are screwing the rest of the world over and will probably keep the WHV going because ultimately people will have to bring money in from overseas just to continue ‘trying’ to live here!

    • Freddie

      Hi Alm,

      “IT DOES NEED TO BE SCRAPPED!” I totally disagree with you. I did my WHV is 2007-2009 and had an awesome time working and traveling around Australia. I had a bit of trouble finding a job when the global financial crisis hit australia in 2008/2009 but apart from that it wasn’t any harder the finding a job back home. I believe Australia is one of the best countries to visit for work and travel than save up some cash and move on.

      You will always find people/businesses trying to take advantage of those who don’t know, in any field and any country in the world. That’s why we created these platforms(fruitpickingjobs.com.au and workingholidayjobs.com.au) in the first place, to make the Working Holiday Industry more transparent. A place where the traveler/backpacker also can get there voice heard, share there thought’s and push the industry to a better place.

      “Interestingly the article states: “The average working holiday maker spends more than $13,000 during their eight-month stay”. Isn’t the working holiday visa usually 1 full year? This basically indicates that people cannot stand to do the full year of being exploited and wasting any more time here.”

      I think you miss understood the stats provided by ATEC (Australian Tourist Export Council) all together. Yes a Working Holiday Visa is one year but the average traveler only stays only for 8 month’s and spends on average $13,000 during that stay. To say that this basically indicates that all working holiday makers left after 8 month’s because they where exploited is a narrow minded comment in my mind.

      I think that all working holiday makers has been a big part in the shaping of Australia and what the country is today. Maybe Australia would miss all the crazy backpackers if the council decided to scrap it?


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