Helping out with Queensland reconstruction could count towards visa

by Ray Clancy on February 18, 2011

in Australia Immigration

Australian Visa

Flood help to score points for visa

Working Holiday Visa holders in Australia are being encouraged to help with the reconstruction in Queensland in areas devastated by the recent floods and after effects of cyclone Yasi.

While it is hoped that most will volunteer a small number of paid jobs may be available and if the work falls under the definition of ‘specified work’, it can count towards a second Working Holiday Visa, officials said.

‘We have had enquiries from backpackers asking how they can get involved with the reconstruction effort in the areas still affected, and we encourage them to look on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for the full details of the Working Holiday Visa. This is a great way to support the reconstruction effort, explore the country and sample the Aussie lifestyle,’ said Rodney Harrex, general manager UK/Northern Europe, Tourism Australia.

If the volunteer work falls under the definition of ‘specified work’ and is conducted within an eligible part of regional Australia, it can count towards the 88 days of work that visa holders must undertake in order to be eligible for a second Working Holiday Visa.

Examples of construction work that qualify include the demolition of buildings, trench digging, earth moving and residential and non-residential repairs. There are also paid work opportunities in these areas that would also help secure a Working Holiday Visa extension.

In addition, the government has announced a fast track processing of 457-visa application specifically for reconstruction jobs in flood affected areas, providing quick access to skilled labour from overseas where local supply is insufficient. Under the programme, a wide variety of skilled construction and engineering occupations are available for sponsorship.

‘The response to the floods in the UK and Ireland has been inspiring. As an Australian, it has been incredible to see the support that British and Irish people have shown to those affected,’ said Harrex.

And he urged visitors not to ignore the state. ‘Australia is a huge country and although the flooding was on a significant scale, most of the country is open for business with tourism operations running normally. Even the day after the worst of the flooding in Brisbane, people were enjoying the beaches on the Gold Coast, just an hour’s drive away,’ he explained.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steven O Reilly February 22, 2011 at 5:40 am

I am an Irish backpacker willing to help in Queensland and I am trying to figure out how I go about it if you could help,Thank you Steven


Steven O Reilly February 22, 2011 at 6:03 am

Hi,I am looking to get employment in Queensland in assisting with the clean up and would like to know how do I go about it??


Dr Tariqul Alam Khan February 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Does there any need of overseas trained doctors in flood affected areas of queensland?
if yes then how can me and my wife who is also a doctor can apply for that?

Dr Khan


J W February 28, 2011 at 9:43 am

Hi, I'm looking to get employment in Queensland and help in reconstruction of the city and how do I go about it???


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