Mother urges more rights for backpackers working in Australia
Rosie Ayliffe said Britons are “propping up their agricultural industry in effect”.
The mother of a British woman who was killed while working in Australia has said farmers in the country are “making huge amounts of money out of our backpackers” which has “got to stop”.
Rosie Ayliffe told the BBC on a trip to Australia to lobby for more rights for migrant workers that Britons are “propping up their agricultural industry in effect”.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 20, was working on a farm, which her mother said was “way over her head”, in order to extend her working holiday visa when she was killed in August last year.
“People are making huge amounts of money out of our backpackers, and it’s got to stop, really,” said Mrs Ayliffe.
“Their days are numbered,” she said of Australian farmers’ treatment of immigrants.
“But I can feel a fight coming on, I really can.”
In the first year of their trips, many backpackers choose to do 88 days of rural work, usually agricultural, in order to get a visa to stay in the country for a second year.
Mrs Ayliffe is now campaigning for tighter regulation on the farmers and hostels that employ and house foreign workers during that time.
Mia, from Wirksworth in Derbyshire, was stabbed at the hostel she was staying at while working on a nearby farm.
Another British backpacker, 30-year-old Tom Jackson, from Congleton in Cheshire, suffered fatal injuries as he attempted to help her.French national Smail Ayad has been accused of their murders. The case against him was adjourned in February at a magistrates’ court in Townsville, Queensland.
“It’s tough,” she said, “it’s tough to be here.”
“But I’m so glad I came because I feel like I owed it to Mia.”