Christoph Mueller is one of the backpackers happy to receive some money back, following a state government investigation into pay practices in farms around the region.
Christoph Mueller is one of the backpackers happy to receive some money back, following a state government investigation into pay practices in farms around the region. LETEA CAVANDER

Workers get their pay

ON his first day of work in Australia, German backpacker Christoph Mueller was paid less than a third of the award wage for picking tomatoes on a farm in the Bundaberg region.

But the 19-year-old, along with 21 other backpackers, took their complaints to the workplace ombudsman, resulting in more than $6000 being paid back to the travellers.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General said the amount ordered to be paid back represented the difference between what the workers were paid and what they were entitled to under the award.

Mr Mueller said he was happy to receive the pay he was entitled to.

“We worked there in the heat and we got paid less than we should. It’s not right,” he said.

Bundy Worker and Divers Hostel director John Walker said he hoped the people responsible for underpaying the backpackers were fined.

“I believe those people who were paid the $6000 were less than half the people working for them,” he said.



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