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'You can't work here, you're an Aussie'

FAIR GO: Brian Ford is disappointed he was told he could not do farm work because he was Australian. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FAIR GO: Brian Ford is disappointed he was told he could not do farm work because he was Australian. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

EVER thought being Australian would go against you when looking for work in Australia?

Gin Gin man Brian Ford didn't but when he applied for a picking job on a Bundaberg farm he was told he would not be considered for the job because he was Australian.

Mr Ford is 22-years-old and currently unemployed.

He said he came across the lemon picking job on Indeed.com.au, which directed him to an advertisement on Gumtree.

"I gave the mob a call to get some general information about it, where it was, what days they were working, all that sort of general stuff," Mr Ford said.

"And they actually asked me if I had a working visa, I told them I was an Australian citizen, so I don't need one.

"And the response was, 'Well sorry, we don't employ Australians'."

But the employer behind the job ad, Nathan Hang of Cellblock Backpackers, said that was not the case.

"That's wrong, that's totally wrong," he said.

Mr Hang said he informed Mr Ford he could not do the farm work unless he was staying at the Cellblock backpacker accommodation.

"They need to stay in our hostel, otherwise we can't make any money," Mr Hang said.

"That's the simple reason, I try to explain it to people, but they just get angry.

"Every hostel works like that."

Mr Hang said he currently had Australians working on the farm, some from as close as Maryborough.

He said the pickers were staying at the hostel so were able to work on the farm.

"People make out we only give jobs to Asian people or European people, that's wrong," he said.

"Then they get angry because we can't give them a job.

"They get aggressive to me and threaten me and say bad words."

Mr Ford said the knock back was another blow to his self esteem and motivation.

"On a scale of about 1 to 10, I'm at about a negative three," he said.

A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesman said they were unable to comment on the matter.

"We would need to assess a multitude of factors to provide a considered response," the spokesman said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman said anyone who believed their workplace rights had been compromised should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The Fair Work website is www.fairwork.gov.au and contains general information about workplace rights and entitlements.

Topics:  editors picks, employment, jobs, workers



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