Moaning Brit backpacker claims she had to do ‘hard graft’ four-hour days fruit picking in Australia

A MOANING Brit backpacker living abroad in Australia claims she had to do “hard graft” four-hour days fruit picking in order to get a visa.

Stephanie Banasko, 25, said she spent 88 days picking fruit on a farm in the country town of Bundaberg, in Queensland, where she was promised an hourly rate.

Instagram/stephbanask

Stephanie Banasko, 25, said she was forced to work four-hour days picking fruit on a farm in Queensland, Australia[/caption]

But the young Brit says when she arrived, she was actually paid based on the weight of the fruit she could pick in a day – her rate also depended on the quality of the fruit.

Banasko flew to Queensland from Sydney after she was promised work, but when she arrived the farmers reportedly told her that job wasn’t available yet.

She told the Daily Mail: “I travelled all that way from Sydney and spent most of my savings.

“I had already flown there, when they sent me an email saying that the hourly paid job was not available yet, and that they would be putting me on a piece rate job.

“It’s waking up at the crack of dawn, hard graft, long hours and ruthlessly repetitive work which is mentally draining.”

“There are so many factors that can affect your pay.

“It can be dependent on the quality of the fruit you pick from the tree and even if the manager likes you or not.

“They might come over and look at your bin and not be happy, then you’d have to start all over again.”

‘ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SHIVER’

Banasko said she was also paying around £120 a week to live in a hostel with “hundreds” of other backpackers seeking the same deal.

Complaining of bathrooms “so dirty you feel cleaner before you shower”, she said the practices were unethical and “enough to make you shiver”.

Banasko claims the farm and hostel managers were taking advantage of the backpacker’s desperation to get a visa to stay in the country, posting false ads online for jobs that don’t exist.

She said the hostels: “Entice people in, take all their hard-earned money for rent, put them on a piece rate job which is slave labour and further trap them by holding a security bond that you don’t get back without providing two weeks notice before fleeing.”

“It’s waking up at the crack of dawn, hard graft, long hours and ruthlessly repetitive work which is mentally draining.”

Farm work is compulsory for foreigners in Australia wishing to stay and work in the country for longer than a year.

Backpackers must complete 88 days of rural farm work, in order to extend their visa and stay in the country for a total of two years.

Stories of backpacker exploitation in the country have become increasingly common as more and more tourists head over on the working visa available to those under 31 years old.

Backpackers are often paid less than the minimum wage and are forced to live in sub-standard accommodation.

Last year, a Belgian backpacker died while picking pumpkins on an Australian farm in 35-degree heat.

He collapsed from exhaustion about being told to pick more than the normal amount of fruit for the day.

Instagram/stephbanask

The 25-year-old was on a working holiday in Australia and living in Sydney, before she travelled to a farm in Queensland[/caption]

Instagram/stephbanask

She says she was promised an hourly rate but was paid by the amount of fruit she picked in a day[/caption]

Instagram/stephbanask

Banasko said the conditions in the hostel were ‘enough to make you shiver’[/caption]

Instagram/stephbanask

Anyone wishing to extend their working visa in Australia for another year must complete 88 days of farm work[/caption]

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