Working In Australia
Rural Enterprises services regional locations in Australia therefore consideration must be given to arriving at your new employer's location.
Please consider researching your new location on the internet so you are aware of facilities available to you (including access to banking facilities and mobile phone reception).
Please be mindful of safe work practices at all times. You must take reasonable care to protect your own safety and the safety and health of others. Most positions provide a smoke free environment especially in machines and accommodation.
To work in Australia you will need:
- An Australian Tax File Number (TFN) - https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Apply-for-a-TFN/
- An Australian bank account
- Become a member of a Superannuation Fund
- Correct working rights to be employed in Australia
- A valid and current Drivers Licence. You will need to produce evidence of this PRIOR to being allocated a position
- Purchase the correct SIM card for mobile phone that gets REGIONAL coverage (i.e TELSTRA, 3G etc.) Not all phone services work in regional Australia. Please notify us of your contact number when you arrive in Australia.
- Book accommodation in Perth if your employer is not picking you up from the airport
- Book travel to farm if your employer has not arranged this for you
- Have appropriate footwear for farm work
Summer conditions are dry and hot. There is generally little or no rain in the summer months and the daytime temperature ranges from 35-45° C. It is suggested that you wear a hat and protective clothing from the sun and apply sunscreen.
For detailed weather information see the Bureau of Meteorology website - http://www.bom.gov.au/
Wages and Conditions
Wages vary and range between $25-30 per hour (gross before tax) for seasonal work, depending on the position, but you may be on a general daily rate while things are quiet. Hours are usually 12+ hour shifts, 7 days a week at the height of the season. Accommodation is usually provided and some meals are supplied in most cases. Please follow this link - https://www.fairwork.gov.au/ - to find information and advice about workplace rights and obligations.
Am I an Australian Resident for Taxation Purposes?
No matter where a person comes from, they are only considered a resident for tax purposes if they fall under the following criteria (so anyone who comes for seasonal work is NOT a resident for tax purposes) - https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/International-tax-for-individuals/Coming-to-Australia/Working-holiday-makers/
Basically, you need to –
- Demonstrate your living and working arrangements are consistent with making Australia your home
- Live in Australia for more than 6 months in an Australian income tax year
- Do not have a place in another country where you usually live
- Intend to take up residence in Australia
www.transport.wa.gov.au is the link to the website for information on licences.
If you are a visitor to Western Australia (WA) from overseas, you may drive on your overseas licence, for as long as it remains valid in the country of issue.
If your overseas licence ceases to be valid, you must apply for a WA licence if you wish to continue driving.
If you hold a permanent resident visa, you can drive on your overseas licence until you have resided in WA for 3 months. After this time you will need to apply for a WA driver’s licence.
Visiting from Interstate
If you are a visitor to Western Australia (WA) you may drive on your interstate licence for the period you are visiting WA or until the licence expires (whichever comes first).
If you are residing in WA (i.e. you live and work in WA), you must apply for a WA driver's licence within three (3) months of becoming a resident in WA.
The seeding season in Western Australia runs between April and June/July depending on rainfall. Some employers seek staff earlier to assist with pre seeding preparations and maintenance which may consist of general farmhand duties.
The harvest season is between October and December. Some employers also seek staff prior to harvest to assist with pre harvest preparations and maintenance which may consist of general farmhand duties.
Mechanics and welders can usually be found employment in the rural areas and a person with a Spray Certificate is keenly sought after. Domestic work on farms is available at seeding and harvest and to a lesser extent at other times of the year.
Farms range in size from 800 to 20,000 hectares (2,000 to 50,000 acres). Crops consist of cereals, legumes and oil seed.
Most of the work is tractor driving, header (combine) or truck driving, though staff are advised that they will have to do some general farm work when machine work is not being done.
Machinery Type / Size and Implement Type / Size:
Tractors range from 2WD around 200hp but are mostly 4WD articulated machines up to 550hp. Implements range from conventional seed drills (although there aren't too many around these days), discs and ploughs up to 30 metre (60-70 feet) wide line cultivator bars and air seeders. Boom sprayers with ~120' booms.
Majority of machines are GPS/Auto steer now.
You are fully covered for any injuries that occur while working. We recommend you take out some form of insurance for travel and to cover yourself outside work hours.
If your country of origin does not have a reciprocal arrangement with Australia for hospital and medical treatment, it is essential you arrange some form of health cover for the duration of your stay in Australia, otherwise you may be liable for any costs incurred for treatment of injuries that occur outside of work.
Most positions will include accommodation on farm and can be portable accommodation, shearers quarters, caravans or rooms within the family home. You may wish to source accommodation for your stay in WA prior to starting work on farm. Click here for some backpacker suggestions. You will organise travel arrangements directly with the farmer but we are always here to help in this regard - please give us a call if you'd like some more information.
If you are coming from any country other than New Zealand you will need to obtain a working holiday visa before leaving home. Visit https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder to find the correct visa for you while working in Australia. Whether you want to come here for just few months or you want to live here indefinitely, get in touch with a migration agent to assist you with obtaining the correct working rights.
Claiming Superannuation and lodging an Australian Tax Return
If you are working temporarily in Australia you can claim your superannuation after you have finished work. The easiest way to claim your superannuation is to apply online, using the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) online application system - www.ato.gov.au/departaustralia (this is a free service). You can start your online application at any time while in Australia, however, you can only submit your application once you have left Australia and your visa has expired or been cancelled.
You can lodge your Australian Tax Return if you are not an Australian citizen and are leaving the country and not planning on returning to work before the end of the financial year (30 June). Please follow this link to find out if you are eligible - https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/International-tax-for-individuals/Going-overseas/Lodging-your-tax-return/Lodging-your-tax-return-early/