The backpackers in Australia can have their visas extended if they contribute to the bushfire recovery. The foreigners who have work, live, or travel visa have to complete certain types of work along with Down Under in order to extend their permit for another year. However, according to international media reports, the Australian government is planning out new rules that would allow such people to get more time in Australia if they choose to help the communities most affected by the severe bushfires that have rocked the country for several months.
Australia's media outlet has reported that the country's government will add the option of volunteering in communities to the list of available places that contribute to the extension of the visa. Furthermore, the construction work in disaster zones will also count. The Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge told an Australian newspaper that the “hardworking Australians” have been hit by recent bushfires, however, they now they “can employ backpackers for six months longer, helping them at a critical time in the recovery effort”.
The recovery work will reportedly be led by local workers and communities. Tudge also mentioned how it will contribute to the “massive recovery effort” and urged the businesses and charitable organisations to have a number of boots on the ground for help. According to other media reports, the Acting Immigration Minister is expected to disclose more details of the proposal later in regional Victoria. With the new development, the Australian authorities are hoping to not only those who wish to stay in Australia but also the locals and businesses that have been affected with the wildfire season.
Just last week, the Rural Fire Service in New South Wales declared that the fire in the area has been contained. It was also the first time since the bushfire season began late last year that the NSW was in a position to make such an announcement. The department further credited the success in containing wildfires to the “Bravehearts” who were at the forefront of the relief work.
In what has been a very traumatic, exhausting and anxious bush fire season so far, for the first time this season all bush and grass fires in NSW are now contained.— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) February 13, 2020
It has taken a lot of work by firefighters, emergency services and communities to get to this point. #nswrfs pic.twitter.com/RhqmcYhJ1j