The recent bushfires have caused devastating and long-lasting damage to many areas in rural Australia, and the communities are currently in need of disaster recovery workers and volunteers to help rebuild their homes.
Good news for altruistic Working Holiday makers, the Department has made some minor but effective changes to encourage further participation by Working Holiday Maker visa holders and applicants alike. The changes ensure that Working Holiday Makers are able to assist in the bushfire recovery without worry of breaching their visa conditions preventing them to work for more than 6 months for one employer. The Department aims to include construction and paid and volunteer disaster recovery work in declared areas as “specified work”, a requisite condition for future Working Holiday Maker applications. The recovery of these declared areas is no small feat – work may take more than six months, which is why the Department saw it prudent to extend work with the same employers from 6 to 12 months at a time.
This is a step in the right direction to ease the burden of the Australian communities that have suffered the most over the past four months.