Housing Needed

The Margaret River Region is facing unprecedented staff and accommodation shortages - Learn more and find out how to help

THE Margaret River Region has become the natural choice for West Australians looking to escape and relax in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. There’s something special in the air here – you can sense it in the vines and trees, in the caves and waves. It is home to Australia’s most awarded wine region; a burgeoning micro-brewing and distilling scene; highly acclaimed dining and tourism experiences; world-class produce and boutique shopping which is worlds away from the carbon-copy high streets seen elsewhere around the world.

Without the dedication and hard work of our local and seasonal workers, this region would not be a place where people choose to live, work and holiday. Now, as we position ourselves for recovery from Covid-19, we find the region struggling with a worker shortage so severe that it is affecting business’ ability to open their doors.

Staff and Accommodation Shortages

 

It is estimated a minimum of 1,000 additional staff will be required for the region’s peak tourism and grape harvest period between December 2020 and May 2021. This staff shortage is being exacerbated by the region’s unprecedented lack of housing availability, which is drastically hindering business’ ability to secure essential staff.

The Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA), Margaret River Wine Association (MRWA), Busselton, Margaret River and Augusta Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCIs), City of Busselton (CoB) and Shire of Augusta Margaret River (SAMR) have been working together to develop targeted, coordinated solutions to the issue, which include:

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

How you can help

 

Information for employers

Make sure that your struggles are being understood and your voice heard by sharing details of your staffing needs – including number and type of employees and housing needs. This will assist MRBTA and other industry bodies to quantify the issue and advance our advocacy efforts.

Complete Questionnaire

Please see below for a list of websites to use for posting vacancies. For further advice on attracting employees, please visit the WA Government’s Work and Wander Out Yonder resource page for employers.

Information for accommodation providers

You can support local businesses to secure staff and contribute to the economic recovery of the region by letting out your property or a spare room.

  • Homeowners and occupiers can earn anywhere from $100-$300 per week
  • Renting out a spare room to someone working in the region doesn’t require approval in the City of Busselton, and in November 2020 the Shire of Augusta Margaret River has approved greater flexibility in the use and establishment of temporary accommodation for seasonal workers.
  • List your home or room for rent to seasonal or permanent workers on popular sites such as:
    Flatmate Finders
    Gumtree
    –  Your local community Facebook pages
  • If you are looking to fast track approval of rural workers’ accommodation, temporary expansion of nature-based camping sites, temporary expansion of camping areas or the temporary use of tourism accommodation, contact your relevant local government planning department – City of Busselton or Shire of Augusta Margaret River  – for more information and to progress an application.

Information for job seekers

By becoming a member of the local community, you’ll not only be contributing to the work of the region, but you’ll be able to enjoy everything the region has to offer, too. You can look for current vacancies via:

Please note that under the State Government’s ‘Primary Industries Workers Regional Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme’, agricultural workers can obtain a subsidy of up to $40 per night, or $280 per week, for accommodation. To view more details and apply, click here.

For further advice, visit the WA Government’s Work and Wander Out Yonder resource page for workers.

Learn about MRBTA’s work in the local tourism community and beyond.

 

View our Prospectus