Unemployed Western Australians will be enticed to sign up for seasonal agricultural jobs with an investment to attract them to work.
The McGowan Government revealed the $3 million funding boost on Wednesday, to pay for accommodation and travel support.
Under the Primary Industries Workers Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme, agriculture, fisheries and food processing businesses experiencing labour shortages will be supported.
Eligible workers who move to the regions will be able to claim up to $40 a night in accommodation rebates for up to 12 weeks to a maximum total rebate of $3,360.
They will also be able to claim $150 for travel to the Peel, South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Mid-West of Goldfields-Esperance regions, $350 for travel to the Gascoyne or Pilbara and $500 for travel to the Kimberley for agricultural work.
The scheme following the launch of the Work and Wander out Yonder campaign, promoting working holiday jobs in agriculture, tourism and hospitality.
The scheme will begin from September 21.
Premier Mark McGowan said it was an opportunity to help jobseekers and the local economy.
“COVID-19 travel restrictions have seen backpacker numbers in WA drop to less than half the usual number, leading to labour challenges across a range of occupations but also creating a unique opportunity for young people in WA,” Mr McGowan said.
“We are calling on young West Aussies to take this opportunity to get the ‘backpacker holiday experience’ at home – broadening horizons, getting to know your regions and all they have to offer.”
Regional Development Minister Allanah MacTiernan said it was an incentive to encourage those needing work.
“We know it is a challenge to attract local people to these roles, so we are providing a financial incentive for a new cohort who will want to give it a try – and potentially have the adventure of a lifetime,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“It would be great if the Federal Government could come on board and offer some flexibility around JobSeeker or other incentives for local workers.”