Member for Barker Tony Pasin has welcomed the decision to allow foreign backpackers and others on working holiday visas the opportunity stay longer to help bushfire-affected communities get back on their feet.

Mr Pasin said the changes announced today by the Morrison Government would be very welcome news to farmers and regional businesses.

“Regional communities across the country have been hit hard by the recent bushfires and there is a lot of work to be done to help get these property owners back on their feet. These changes mean that from today they can employ backpackers for six months longer, helping them at a critical time in the recovery effort,” Mr Pasin said.

“It means 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.”

“This recovery will be driven locally, by local workers and communities and we want businesses and charitable organisations to have as many boots on the ground as they need.”

The new measures will mean working holiday makers who come to Australia with money to spend, will help boost local economies and also spend money they earn in Australia, in the fire-affected towns where they work. “I’ve been advocating within Government for these changes. I’ve been out on the fire ground working with organisations like BlazeAid and local property owners in the Adelaide Hills and Keilira and I know they in need of extra hands,” Mr Pasin said.