Ban bid under attack
LABOR is set to spark a massive pre-election war with farmers over a “dangerous” union proposal to dismantle working holiday visas which threatens to “cripple” the agriculture sector.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions is trying to pressure Bill Shorten (above) to review the scheme with a view to ban backpackers working for a second year and put further restrictions on work in the first year.
Opposition immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann refused to rule out backing the proposal and said the number of temporary visa holders in Australia with work rights was “too high”.
The National Farmers’ Federation labelled the demands “ill-considered, illconceived” and warned politicians against acting on it.
“The entire sector would mobilise to voice its outrage and despair if the program was to be scrapped without adopting realistic alternatives,” NFF general manager Ben Rogers said.
Mr Rogers said farmers relied heavily on backpackers.