Rosie Ayliffe (pictured right with daughter Mia left) wants the rest of the world to follow suit and remove the mandatory farm work from all tourist visas after her daughter was murdered working on a Queensland farm
The mother of a backpacker who was murdered while serving her mandatory farm work in regional Australia says the United Kingdom’s decision to strip the rule from visas in a new trade deal is proof Boris Johnson recognises ‘the system is not safe’.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung, then 21, was stabbed to death by French tourist Smail Ayad in Home Hill in 2016 after working in a Queensland cane field to extend her visa.
Mrs Aylifee told Daily Mail Australia she was surprised the UK scrapped the 88 days of farm work needed to extend tourist visas in Australia in a new trade deal – but was glad they did – because the lingering use of the system is a ‘scar on the nation’.
Britons under 35 will be allowed to live and work in Australia for three years without having to do farm work under the terms of the UK-Australia free trade deal.
‘The reputational damage to your country caused by this law, I am disgusted you call yourselves the civilised country,’ she said on Saturday.
‘This became my life because she was my only daughter. She was everything to me, I lost everything.’
Mia Ayliffe, then just 21 years old, was stabbed to death by French tourist Smail Ayad in Home Hill in 2016 after working in a Queensland cane field to extend her visa
British people under the age of 35 will be able to work in Australia for three years without having to complete farm work under the new free trade agreement
Mrs Ayliffe says the agreement is a monumental signal from the UK’s prime minister that the farm work system is broken.
‘Boris Johnson used it to do something so important for young people, it delighted me. I was not expecting it to be abolished,’ she said.
‘Campaigners can now go to government officials and say Boris Johnson won’t accept this for UK citizens. You need to know your young people are at risk and that’s why Boris Johnson insisted this was ended.’
Mrs Ayliffe, who published ‘Far from Home: A true story of death, loss and a mother’s courage’ – a book about losing her daughter and exposing the institutionalised abuse occurring on Australian farms – referred to the work as ‘modern slavery’.
‘To be honest, that book was my swansong, but after this announcement I’m ready to go again. I want to get into European parliament, I want to get to Europe. I really want to take this further,’ she said.
Mrs Ayliffe published ‘Far from Home: A true story of death, loss and a mother’s courage’ – a book about losing Mia and exposing the institutionalised abuse occurring on Australian farms
‘This became my life because she was my only daughter. She was everything to me, I lost everything,’ Mrs Ayliffe said
‘I was a single parent with one daughter living on the bread line,’ she said. You took my daughter, my daughter died out there so don’t come at me as a whinging pom’
Having become heavily involved in the farm work industry since her daughter’s death, she says the problem is not going away.
‘The most abuse I hear of is from Canadian women. They absolutely draw the line at the workplace abuse they’re getting,’ Mrs Ayliffe said.
‘I’m in a Facebook group at the moment with young women who have been abused. They know a woman who is constantly drugged up and forced to massage locals topless,’ Mrs Ayliffe said.
‘I’ve talked to people who have gone into the room at the wrong time and seen piles of cash and drugs.’
‘This became my life because she was my only daughter. She was everything to me, I lost everything’
Despite attempts to contact Australian politicians and even bring in a register of legitimate employers so backpackers could be aware of the safety and history of abuse some farms may have had, Mrs Ayliffe found a complete lack of support
Despite attempts to contact Australian politicians and even bring in a register of legitimate employers so backpackers could be aware of the safety and history of abuse some farms may have had, Mrs Ayliffe found a complete lack of support.
‘One of your politicians said farmers should not be constrained by having their names in a public domain,’ she said.
‘These people should not be working with young people.’
Mrs Ayliffe now fears for the workers being flown in from other countries to replace the lack of British employees.
The visa marked by the new free trade deal will take in workers from the 10 Association of South East Asian nations – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
‘I was a single parent with one daughter living on the bread line,’ she said.
‘You took my daughter, my daughter died out there so don’t come at me as a whinging pom.’
Mia lost her life on August 23, 2016 at the hands of Ayad, who was believed to have an obsession with the young Brit.
Ayad had legal charges dropped against him after a court ruled he had an unsound mind.
Instead, he was sentenced to ten years in a psychiatric facility despite reports from witnesses in the hostel that he called Mia his ‘wife’ and regularly spoke of his sexual attraction to her.
The agreement was thrashed out by Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson over a three-hour dinner in Number 10 Downing Street on Tuesday night
Hailing the deal, Prime Minister Johnson said: ‘Today marks a new dawn in the UK’s relationship with Australia
Britons (pictured in Manchester during England’s football clash with Croatia on Sunday) will be able to work in Australia for three years and Aussies will have the same rights in the UK
Tariffs will be reduced or eventually removed on a number of key British products sold in Australia, including cars, cheese, biscuits and whiskey as part of the trade deal.
It is has not yet been decided if Britons who have already used a working holiday visa will be able to re-apply and benefit from the extended working rights.
The changes will not come into play until at least July 2022 when the free trade deal – which has been agreed in principle – is expected to be officially signed.
‘I said we’d wait for the right deal and I think we’ve got the right deal, Boris,’ said Morrison as he welcomed the agreement this week which will boost the Australian economy by $1.3billion (£700million) and the UK economy by $915million (£500million) each year.
Morrison said there would be no limit on the number of young people who would be able to move between the two nations.