• Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC)
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Media Release: Federal Government action needed to spur labour availability in tourism sector

20 /05/ 2015 Comments are Closed

Following the Federal Government’s announced abolition of the tax-free threshold on income earned by working holiday makers (WHM), the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has called on the government to act to ensure labour availability is spurred in the tourism industry.

“Cafes, restaurants, hotels and operators throughout our industry already face labour shortages. Last week’s announcement will be a disincentive for working holiday makers, who are a long-staying international market and an important labour source for our industry,” said VTIC Chief Executive Dianne Smith.

“The taxation change must be accompanied by measures that make it more attractive and easy to stay in Australia so this significant group of travellers doesn’t abandon us.”

Measures to boost working holiday numbers include:

  • Giving WHM who work in regional tourism and hospitality businesses (for three months or more) eligibility for a one-year visa extension.
  • Increasing the qualifying age upper limit from 30 to 35 years, in line with international norms.
  • Removing the six-month cap on employment duration with a single employer.
  • Allowing WHM who have finished a working holiday to apply for a second visa. (One between 18-25 years of age and a second from 26-35 years of age).

“There is great opportunity for the government to improve the working holiday maker visa program and help address the tourism and hospitality labour shortage, particularly in regional Victoria,” said Ms Smith.

“We call on the Federal Government to support our industry by adopting these changes to make Australia an increasingly attractive destination for working holiday makers.”


About the Author


The voice of the Victorian tourism industry, representing key industry associations, operators and government agencies.

Media Manager:

Media enquiries: media@victorianchamber.com.au,

Anne Wright, Media and Communications Manager, (03) 8662 5310 / 0423 883 945

Ellana Katos, Social Media and Communications Advisor, (03) 8662 5205 / 0400 976 889



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