Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP has welcomed the Federal Budget announcement of $17.4 million program to help job seekers with relocation costs to take up a job for ongoing work or to temporarily relocate to for short term agricultural work.

The Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program (the program) will see eligible job seekers receive up to $6,000 for Australians and $2,000 for eligible visa holders to help cover costs of relocation for employment from November 1.

The assistance is available to cover costs such as rent, connecting utilities, removalist and travel costs as well as some employment-related expenses.

Mr Pasin said this would go some way to helping employers in Barker fill critical workforce shortages.

“Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to employers across my electorate of Barker who are crying out for staff to fill positions and they say they are just not getting the job applications,” Mr Pasin said.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that displaced Aussie workers have been reluctant to leave the cities and suburbs to relocate to rural and regional Australia. This relocation payment seeks to help address this.”

The assistance is available to workers who relocate from their current residential location for ongoing work, including for an apprenticeship, or to move to a harvest or regional area to take up short-term agricultural work that is at least six weeks.

“Much of the work in regional areas of Barker is in agriculture and food processing and it’s work that our nation needs doing,” Mr Pasin said.

“Without people to step up and do this work, we will have employers shutting their doors and letting fruit rot on the tree sending shock waves throughout the entire supply chain and ending up with much higher prices at the checkout.”

The budget announcement follows previous measures announced by the Federal Government to address workforce shortages in the regions.

In April this year the Morrison Government announced an extension to working holiday maker and other visas amid the COVID-19 crisis allowing visa holders to remain in Australia and continue to work to fill critical workforce shortages.

For more information on the program go to