Even if I risk to be hated by many fellow backpackers I feel the urge to publish my strong feelings about traffic fines for backpackers in Australia. I am not putting my name under this piece of art, because I already spent countless hours disputing this issue with friends and strangers and because haters gonna hate anyways. I hope that Travelgott is going to publish this and I also hope they keep my anonymity.
Let me be clear on one thing: By writing this I don’t mean to educate anyone. If you feel like paying your god damn fines, that’s great! Go ahead and pay hundreds of Dollars, it’s none of my business anyways. But I am not and I am going to tell you why. And I expect that you are also fine with that, since that ain’t none of your business either!
LEARN MORE: TRAFFIC FINES IN AUSTRALIA – Do I need to pay?
Who am I to say I am not paying for traffic fines?
Not that this is of any importance, but in case you want to know: I am just a regular Working Holiday Maker, from Germany if you wonder, and I am here in Australia for one year – maybe even for two, who knows? I am travelling with my girlfriend around the country in an Ford Econovan – and we love it! We love the country, the people (most of them) and the live-style.
I tend to avoid traffic fines just like any other backpacker probably does and everyone definitely should. Nevertheless, I have been fined before for speeding, parking ticket, illegal camping, even jaywalking… you name it! Once I found wheel clamps on my car where I had to pay ransom to release the van, other than that I have not paid a penny on fines and I have no intends in doing so!
In the past weeks I experienced countless hours where the topic of traffic fines has been discussed by backpackers. When I chipped in my two cents and said, that I am not paying traffic fines, I had the feeling that some backpackers saw an IS fighter in me and were about to rip my head off. In most cases I didn’t care, but it’s kinda heartbreaking that even with good friends you end up in an argument who want to make it their business.
Do you even realize how much Australia is taking advantage of us backpackers?
Do you? Do you realize that backpackers are feeding this country? How many Australians have you seen working on farms? There are thousands of jobs available every year in the farming industry. How many Australians want to take their job? I don’t know a percentage, but it’s very low. Hell, I remember seeing that clip on CBS News, where they offered jobless people to earn more than $1.000 per week. Only when they found out that it’s farm work they refused the job offer and chose to keep on living from government money.
Just keeping the country running is obviously no reason not to pay fines, I know. But look around how we backpackers are being exploited by most of the farmers and the government. Many of us are far from making minimum wage. And it’s the same in the tourism industry. We backpackers are happy to take on any job and employers are happy to take us because they know they can pay less than they should!
Do you think the government really cares about us?
This is modern slavery and the Australian government is watching! Don’t think that FairWork is of any help. How many times have I heard that in cases of unfair treatment you simply talk to FairWork. Have you ever tried to talk to FairWork? Is there any case, where a backpacker case has been decently solved? If so, please tell me about it!
I myself took once a cash in hand job. I only got paid less than half of what we agreed on. You know what happened when I threatened with FairWork after the first week of working there and realizing how little I actually get paid? The owner laughed at me and said I am only going to put myself in trouble since I took the money cash in hand! Many of you will say that it’s my fault, since I took the job. But I was running out of money and really needed it. What would you do?
Seriously peeps! If Australia had any intentions to stop the exploitation of backpackers, they could have done so ages ago!
The visa costs include 2 traffic fines
440 AUD for an Australian Working Holiday Visa. That is pretty much twice the amount of the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand. 440 Dollar to fill out an online application with an automated e-mail reply where you get the confirmation of your visa.
I don’t know about you, but that seems to be a lot to me. It’s all about supply and demand, I know, and since so many people are willing to come to Australia and work under inhumane circumstances, the government can increase the prices however they want.
To my understanding this includes at least two “out of
jail traffic fines” cards. The government is taking advantage of backpackers wherever they can, so why shouldn’t farmers?
Since when are travellers paying income taxes in a country?
Thank you farmers!
15% income taxes for backpackers! This is the next great thing which the Australian government came up with to suck every drop out of us backpackers. Since when are travellers of a country subject to an income tax?
Look, the only reason Australia wants us to come is to work for them. We are also leaving a shitload of money, but it is us, who is doing the dirt jobs which no Australian would ever do. And it’s the dirt jobs keeping the country fed and running.
Now we are paying 15% tax to the government. And it’s “only” 15%, because farmers lobbied against an initially proposed plan to tax us with more than 30%! Thank you farmers!
To me that’s proof that the Australian government doesn’t give a f*ck about us. They see a money printing machine in backpackers and this is what they are doing with us – printing money.
READ MORE: How Important is the Working Holiday Program for Australia really?
Don’t believe the stories where you get lynched right at the airport for not having paid a traffic fine
You know what makes me really laugh out loud? When some smartass backpackers tell me that I should pay my fines, otherwise I will face prison time… sometimes it even sounds like they really think Australia brings back the death penalty for backpackers not paying insignificant traffic fines.
Wake up folks! Don’t believe everything you hear. Who has one story to share where that seriously happened? And I mean being stopped at the airport for simple traffic fines, parking tickets… stuff like that. I could share dozens of stories, where people left and entered the country with open traffic tickets.
No, I would NOT pay traffic fines in my home country if I would go away with it
The most stupid argument ever: I should pay traffic fines in Australia, since I am also paying them back home. Yes, I do pay them back home, but only for one reason! Back home the police would be after me, I would lose driving points and even my driving licence. But not because I think: Oh yeah, I got a speeding ticket, that’s so great, I can finally perform my national duty and pay it asap!
I don’t know if it’s only us Germans thinking like that, but I can’t imagine anyone else in the world paying hundreds of Dollars knowing they would get away with it. Even Australians many times don’t pay their fines in other states, unless they see no way out. And even the police keeps on telling backpackers that they don’t have to pay the fines anyways.
I mean, not even within the European Union they chase you in a different country, even though they like to say so.
Believe it or not: I love being here in Australia!
You probably think now that I am totally pissed and annoyed by this country. The truth is, I am not! I love it here in this beautiful country. Backpackers being exploited, that’s something everyone should be aware of before going to Down Under. I found a couple of decent jobs and bosses and earned my bucks.
And most Australians are super friendly and helpful – no doubt about that. But many of those you can take advantage of you will f*ck you whenever I can. I can live with that. But can you live with me not paying my traffic fines?
Signed: Just another otherwise decent backpacker
Please note that this article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of #Travelgott. If you would like to publish an article, you can do so here.