Industry Bodies Respond to Housing Availability Crisis for Seasonal Workers

The Margaret River Wine Association (MRWA), Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA), Busselton, Margaret River and Augusta Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCIs), City of Busselton (CoB) and Shire of Augusta Margaret River (SAMR) recognise that many of our members are struggling to secure staff due to the unprecedented housing availability crisis across the City of Busselton and Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

The industry bodies understand this is an urgent issue and that many businesses are now considering constraining the quality and/or capacity of their operations, which is a significant setback in individual businesses, and the region’s, Covid-19 recovery.

The group have been working together to develop targeted, coordinated solutions to the issue, which include:

  1. Encouraging homeowners and occupiers to rent spare rooms to seasonal workers via a local marketing campaign.

  2. Calling for the State Government to extend the Government’s ‘Primary Industries Workers Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme’ to tourism and hospitality workers, enabling them to obtain a subsidy of up to $40 per night, or $280 per week, for accommodation.

  3. Calling for the State Government to offer a further payment to any accommodation supplier, including motels, chalets, and bed and breakfasts, which make accommodation available exclusively for seasonal workers.

  4. Preparedness of local governments to find ways to fast track approval of rural workers accommodation, temporary expansion of nature-based camping sites, temporary expansion of camping areas and the temporary use of tourism accommodation for worker accommodation. Health, safety and environmental issues will, however, still need to be adequately addressed, and approvals may be on a temporary basis only. Businesses are encouraged to contact their relevant local government for more information and to progress an application.

If you are requiring accommodation for staff, please complete this form. This will assist the industry bodies to quantify the issue and advance its advocacy efforts.

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