Bushfires and Backpackers
The Australian Government announced on 17 February 2020 that amendments would be made to the Working Holiday programme to include paid or volunteer bushfire recovery work as 'specified work' for the purposes of a second or third year 417 or 462 visa.
Further, subclass 417 and subclass 462 visa holders assisting bushfire recovery efforts can work for up to 12 months with the same employer or organisation - doubling the current 6-month work limitation.
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, stated that including construction work in a disaster declared area as specified work meant "working holiday makers can help rebuild homes, fences and farms, they can get onto properties and help with demolition, land clearing, and repairing dams, roads and railways".
It is also hoped that attracting working holiday makers to fire-affected communities will boost local economies by bringing in Tourism dollars and increasing wage spend in the area.
Further information is available in the Minister Announcement
. The Home Affairs website should be updated shortly to reflect these changes.