Backpacker dubs Woolgoolga farm 'modern day slavery'
IN A rather concerning article for BuzzFeed, a backpacker recently wrote about his experience of exploitation at a Woolgoolga blueberry farm.
"Two months ago I was lured to a rural town in NSW and tricked into working as an illegal labourer while a contractor stole the money I was told I was making," wrote English backpacker Joshua Fox.
According to Mr Fox, he'd secured work picking blueberries after responding to an ad on Facebook.
Upon arriving to Woolgoolga, he claimed he was unfairly evicted from local accommodation and when inquiring at another option, the landlady apparently responded she only wanted "Asian backpackers".
Mr Fox claims in his article the owner of the blueberry farm calculated the payments based on a guess rather than weighing the buckets of berries picked.
"She then scribbled her guess down on a piece of paper next to your name, shouted at us for picking too slow and ignored our question: 'Why don't you buy some little scales to accurately measure what we pick?'
"They still haven't taken any of our bank details, visa documents or tax file numbers either," Mr Fox wrote.
Mr Fox claimed he was only paid $3 an hour for the work, only for the contractor to refuse to pay him.
"We never received the payment the contractor promised us and he now doesn't respond to our messages. He lied about the legalities of the farm, made us work under false pretences and then stole all of our wages. Modern day slavery."
Mr Fox however commended Woopi Backpackers, paying his thanks to owner Sam Newman.