Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 November 2015

Other title

Parliamentary Record 24


Debates for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Hansard Office

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES Thursday 19 November 2015 7429 On the positive side, there are some changes the federal government should be commended for. They include: changes to the working holidaymaker and work and holiday visa holders program which will allow the ability to work up to 12 months with one employer if the individual works in a highdemand sector including tourism and hospitality in the north. This is up from six months at present new arrangements for the work and holiday visa in northern Australia scheduled to commence on 1 July 2016 will apply to the tourism and hospitality industry, as well as the agriculture sector, which will allow these visa holders to apply for a second visa. This will create a new opportunity for this much smaller cohort to apply for a second visa not currently available to them. These changes have the potential to give northern Australia an edge in marketing to this cohort and will be reflected in future international workforce attraction activities by the NT government. These are good initiatives, but more needs to be done. Madam Speaker, I have a few more pages and I am mindful of the time. I can table these notes which I have presented to you for incorporation into Hansard. I am at the whim of the Chamber. Madam SPEAKER: I am comfortable. I have read the notes and it is suitable to incorporate them into Hansard. I raised the issue in my very first conversation with Malcolm Turnbull after he became Prime Minister in September. I have since written to him, Minister for Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg and Tourism Minister Senator Richard Colbeck about my concerns regarding issues with the working holidaymaker visa and tax implications for backpackers and the effect they are having on the Northern Territory economy. I raised the issue again in a face-to-face meeting in my office with Senator Colbeck when he was here in Darwin attending the Northern Australia Investment Forum. The NT government believes the federal government could implement simple and affordable measures that would go a long way towards reversing the decline. The NT government is encouraging the federal government to: simplify the visa application and assessment process for markets that cannot apply online extend online visa applications to as many nationalities as possible, prioritising the top 10 key tourism markets allow three-year multiple entry visitor visas continue to reform the working holidaymaker visa by: reducing fees for applying for a working holidaymaker visa reviewing the changes to the tax free threshold for working holidaymakers, due to come into effect from 1 July 2016 increasing the age limit allowing multiple applications for individuals. The Northern Territory government, through Tourism NT, is seizing the initiative with new marketing strategies to make the NT top of mind for the international backpacker market. These include: The NT is partnering with the biggest youth tour operator in the world STA Travel Global in the UK, France and Germany to promote holidays to the NT for people who have booked to visit Australia enticing them to add-on the NT. As an added feature, a promotional campaign will also be delivered to people who have booked to visit or already visiting Bali but not Australia. The campaign will promote the short two-and-a-half-hour link into Darwin. This campaign will run in early 2016. Targeting international travellers already in Australian on the east coast remains a focus. Tourism NT is working with partners including STA Travel, the Website Travel Group, Peterpans Adventure Travel, Backpackers World Travel and HostelWorld.cpm. Tourism NT will run an NT Youth Adventure Roadshow in Melbourne