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Federal member for O’Connor Rick Wilson today met with the Deputy Prime Minister’s office to discuss the terms of reference and the process for the review of working holiday maker 417 and 462 visas.

These visa classes are commonly held by backpackers and other holiday makers that seek casual work while visiting Australia.

“This review is an important process that I strongly advocated during the election campaign. I was pleased to learn that the inter-departmental review group has been appointed and getting ready to commence the task”, said Mr Wilson.

“The backpacker workforce is important in O’Connor for horticulture and agriculture and the hospitality sectors. Many country hotels and roadhouses in the electorate rely on this workforce to effectively run their businesses”, said Mr Wilson.

The eligibility for certain skillsets to access a 12 month visa extension is an issue that has been raised with Mr Wilson in O’Connor.

“Holiday makers working in hospitality in a remote area of country WA are not eligible for a visa extension, whereas a farm labourer in the Great Southern will be eligible. I have registered this as an area that needs to be re-considered during the review process”.

“Backpackers providing their labour in the pubs and roadhouses in country WA are servicing a need that is not being provided by locals or Australians prepared to travel.”

“I have argued for the review to consider criteria for those holiday makers to be eligible for a visa extensions”.

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MEET RICK

I was inspired to run for Parliament following my involvement in a decade-long campaign to deregulate the wheat industry, which brought about the end of the Australia Wheat Board’s monopoly.

“I stand proudly for the Liberal philosophy of free markets, vigorous competition, small government and individual responsibility. These are the principles that guide me in my life and in this place. My track record in public life shows clearly that I am prepared to stand up for those principles.”

“To the electors of O'Connor, I reiterate the commitment that I have made to work tirelessly on your behalf, to always be frank and honest about the challenges we face, and to work cooperatively and collaboratively to improve the lives of the people who live in the greatest part of the greatest nation on earth”

– Rick Wilson MP Maiden Speech.