Tourists ‘vital' to farm future

BACKPACKERS are vital to the Bundaberg region's farming industry, according to Coral Coast Chamber of Commerce and Tourism president Greg Barnes.

Mr Barnes said backpackers were a reliable workforce who were often instantly available.

“They will do the work that others won't,” he said.

“They're prepared to work and they know they're only working for a short time.”

Mr Barnes said backpackers also provided the region with cultural diversity.

He said the commercial sector, council and agricultural sector were supportive of the backpackers in the region.

Mr Barnes said farms relied on backpackers because it was easy to find workers at short notice.

“A farmer could call a hostel today and say they want people working at the farm at 8am and backpackers will be there,” he said.

But he said their spending did not drive the tourism sector.

“They come here to work and go elsewhere to play,” he said.

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