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.