Regional Agriculture, Tourism & Hospitality Workers Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme

The Regional Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality Workers Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme (Scheme) supports Western Australian job seekers and Working Holiday Maker visa holders (WHM) and encourages regional work and travel.

To confirm your eligibility, please download the full application guidelines before you apply. 

The Scheme is in its second round of funding and has recently been expanded to enable workers in hospitality and tourism to apply from 3 March 2022. In addition, WHMs are now able to access both the travel and accommodation allowances, from 3 March 2022:

  • The second round commenced on 9 September 2021.
  • New applications relating to work in Agricultural Industries accepted from 9 September 2021.
  • New applications relating to work in tourism and hospitality roles accepted from 3 March 2022.
  • Agriculture workers supported under the previous round, (Round 1; 9 September 2020 to 8 September 2021), can also apply for Round 2 of the Scheme, even if they reached their maximum allowance under Round 1.
  • Workers are permitted to apply even if returning to work for the same employer from a previous application.
  • WHMs across agriculture, tourism and hospitality may apply for both the travel and accommodation allowance from 3 March 2022, (previously only the travel allowance was claimable).

The Scheme is open to anyone who relocates to regional Western Australia to work in an eligible job role on/after 9 September 2021, (3 March 2022 for tourism and hospitality workers), and who meets all eligibility criteria.  Please note that funding for Round 1 applications, for eligible work from 9 September 2020 to 8 September 2021, closed on the 1st of June 2022.  Round 2 is open and accepting applications from eligible applicants from 9 September 2021, (from 3 March 2022 for eligible tourism and hospitality workers)

For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions below. 

Who can apply for funding? 

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You can apply for funding if you are a person living in Australia who:

  • has the right to work in Australia; and,
  • has relocated more than 100 kilometres from their current residence to take up an employment opportunity in regional WA; and,
  • has taken up employment in an eligible job role in an agriculture, fisheries, or food processing business through direct employment or through a labour hire or contracting business since 9 September 2021; and/or,
  • has taken up employment in an eligible job role in a tourism, hospitality business through direct employment or through a labour hire or contracting business since 3 March 2022; and
  • has been employed for at least 2 consecutive weeks (14 days) by the same employer in regional WA; and
  • has met all other criteria outlined in these guidelines.  

Activities that can be funded

An accommodation allowance of $40 per night and a travel allowance can be claimed from 9 September 2021 (from 3 March 2022 for tourism and hospitality workers) by eligible and approved applicants. 

Working Holiday Maker visa holders, (subclass 417 or 462 or COVID-19 Pandemic Visa subclass 408), may now apply for both the travel allowance and accommodation allowance from 3 March 2022, up to a maximum of 6 weeks (42 nights) 

Funding amounts

An applicant who has the right to work in Australia, but is not in Australia as a Working Holiday Maker can apply for: 

  • an accommodation allowance of $40 per night ($280 week) for each night living away from home to take up eligible employment in regional area, up to a maximum of 12 weeks (84 nights), and
  • a one-off travel allowance with the payment amount based on the region in which they have taken up employment, listed below.

Working Holiday Maker visa holders who are relocating within or to Australia, can apply for: 

  • an accommodation allowance of $40 per night ($280 week) for each night living away to take up eligible employment in regional area, up to a maximum of 6 weeks (42 nights), and
  • a one-off travel allowance with the payment amount based on the region in which they have taken up employment, listed below.

Travel allowance payment amounts by region:

- an allowance of $150 to eligible applicants taking up employment in the Peel, South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Mid-West and Goldfields-Esperance regions;
- an allowance of $350 to eligible applicants taking up employment in the Gascoyne or Pilbara regions;
- an allowance of $500 to eligible applicants taking up employment in the Kimberley region.

 

    Eligibility requirements

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    To be considered for funding through this program an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria. You must:

    1. have taken up employment in an eligible job role in a tourism, hospitality, agriculture, fisheries, or food processing business through direct employment or through a labour hire or contracting business with a current Australian Business Number (ABN)

    2. be working in an eligible WA region in one of the following job roles:

    2(a) Agricultural  industry job roles including -

    • on-farm planting, maintenance, harvest, grading or packing of crops
    • off-farm grading or packing of horticultural fresh produce (please note that harvested grain does not qualify)
    • on-farm breeding and caring of livestock (including shearing and aquaculture activities)
    • time-critical primary food processing of fresh, perishable produce
    • commercial fishing on vessel, or onshore time-critical processing and packing of seafood.

    2(b) Tourism and Hospitality industry job roles (related to servicing the visitor economy) including -

    • preparation or delivery of food and/or beverages to customers/guests such as wait staff, bar staff, barista, kitchen hand, cook, chef (including tourism accommodations and attractions, hospitality venues and visitor information centres)
    • cleaning, housekeeping or groundkeeping
    • administrative services such as receptionist, cashier, supervisor/manager, tourism information centre staff
    • tour operator or tourist attraction staff (including marine staff, deck hand, tour guide/driver)

    Note - Tourism and hospitality businesses relate to servicing the visitor economy and include, but are not limited to: hotels, hostels, resorts, caravan parks, B&B, farmstay, restaurants, cafés, taverns, pubs, bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, land/water/air tours, visitor information centres.  For clarification, hospitality roles that service staff and/or non-visitor economy operations such as mine sites, hospitals, aged care, childcare facilities, schools or other such business operations, are not eligible.

    3. be in paid employment under the relevant Award and cannot be working as a volunteer

    4. be a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or hold a valid work visa 

    5. have an account with an Australian commercial bank or credit union

    6. be able to provide all requested details of the business employing you, including their ABN, a valid email address and contact telephone number of your employer, and the physical addresses where the work was undertaken 

    7. be able to provide evidence that you have relocated more than 100 kilometres from your usual place of residence, where you live as an owner, tenant or boarder, or where you reside with your family

    8. be able to provide the address, name and contact details of the owner or business where you are living while working in regional WA

    9. have taken up employment in the South West, Peel, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Goldfields-Esperance, Mid-West, Gascoyne, Pilbara, or Kimberley region as defined in the Regional Development Act 1993

    10. be engaged by an employer for a period of at least two consecutive weeks (14 days), with a commencement date on or after 9 September 2021, (3 March 2022 for tourism and hospitality workers)

    11. for workers employed in agriculture; have worked full-time in the weeks that you claim the allowance, being the same number of normal work days or shifts as a full-time employee in that role and industry would normally work

    12. for workers in hospitality and tourism; have worked a minimum of 40 hours over a consecutive two-week period for the same employer/s

    13. not be a dependent of the owner or operator of the employing business and/or beneficiary of the family trust of the employer.

    Note: This is a limited pool of funds and the program will cease when funds are fully committed. Applications will be assessed in the order they are received. The submission of an application does not guarantee the applicant will receive funding.

    For questions around working age, please see https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations/when-children-can-work-western-australia.

     

    Application

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    Applications can be submitted online and applicants must answer all questions and have uploaded the required evidence/verification documents to progress to assessment.

    Eligible applicants are able to submit an application at any time after completing more than two consecutive weeks of work for the same employer (full time for agriculture workers, minimum 40 hours per fortnight for hospitality and tourism workers). 

    What you will need to provide 

    Applicants will need to provide:

    1. evidence of their usual home address, being the address where the applicant lived before they relocated to a region. Acceptable evidence includes:

    • copy of current WA Drivers Licence or WA Photo Card, or
    • copy of recent Bank Statement showing name and address, or
    • copy of rental agreement, or
    • copy of Local Government rates notice, or
    • receipt from a commercial accommodation provider.

    Applicants unable to provide any of the above should contact the Program Manager by email at workforce@dpird.wa.gov.au before submitting an application for consideration of other acceptable evidence of usual place of residence before their relocation to regional WA. 

    2. the address of where they are living while working in regional WA, together with the name and contact details of the owner (or business name) of the accommodation provider.

    3. evidence that they have the right to work in Australia and meet the eligibility criteria for this program being:

    • for Australians, a copy of Australian Passport; Birth Certificate (or extract); 
      Citizenship Certificate; or Certificate of evidence of resident status; or 
    • copy of a current, valid Passport and Visa (where applicable)

    4. details of the type of work performed, the dates worked, the employers name, Australian Business Number, email address and the physical addresses where work was undertaken.

    Assessment and payment

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    Applications will be assessed in the order they are submitted until all allocated funds have been exhausted.

    A travel allowance is only payable once in any funding Round; and applicants who change employers cannot claim another travel allowance payment.

    An accommodation allowance can be claimed by a person on or after 9 September 2021, (after 3 March 2022 for tourism and hospitality workers).

    Incomplete applications, or applications where required documents have not been uploaded, will not be assessed and applicants will be notified.  

    Assessors must be able to contact employers to verify work claims and applicants must provide correct contact details and a valid ABN for their employer.

    Employment can be at different physical locations in regional WA, but must be for the same employer for a minimum of two consecutive weeks (14 consecutive calendar days). Applicants can change employers after the 14 day minimum, and claim an accommodation allowance if they continue to meet all eligibility criteria including completing a minimum of 14 consecutive days for the new employer. 

    The accommodation allowance is paid for a maximum of 84 nights, (or to a maximum of 42 nights for Working Holiday Maker visa holders), which can be consecutive or non-consecutive, providing the 2-week (14 consecutive calendar days) minimum criteria is met with each employer.

    Applicants should allow at least twelve to sixteen weeks for assessment and processing of claims. Payments are made as soon as possible after assessment and approval of claim. Payments are made electronically to the nominated bank account.

    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional (DPIRD) reserves the right to review and amend the list of eligible jobs, industries, regions or visa holders if required to address critical labour shortages in regions or industries.

    No advocacy or lobbying will be accepted on behalf of individuals, industries or regions.

    Tax information

    Rebate payments under this scheme are outside the scope of GST, and applicants are encouraged to seek tax advice on the potential implications of obtaining this rebate.
     

    Frequently asked questions

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    For further assistance, download the Frequently Asked Questions. 

    Personal information and disclosure of information

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    Applicants are informed that DPIRD is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992 (WA), which provides a general right of access to records held by state government agencies and local governments.



     

    Page reviewed 23 September 2022