Clever “Adopt a Worker” Campaign Launches in Douglas Shire to Tackle Staff and Housing Shortages.

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A new ‘match-making’ campaign has just launched in the Douglas Shire, connecting locals with a spare room and potential holiday workers.

woman holding mug of cappuccino

Yesterday, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) launched Adopt A Worker, an innovative campaign aimed at addressing the issue of rental shortages for workers in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Adopt A Worker is an initiative being championed by Tourism Port Douglas Daintree.

It’s about asking the Douglas community to adopt a worker for the busy season due to the current rental crisis. By providing living arrangements for seasonal workers, businesses will be able to operate with full teams, and provide the services our warm community is known for. If you’ve got some spare space to adopt a worker, we’d love to hear from you.


Based on a similar campaign in Lorne, Victoria, Adopt A Worker is asking the Douglas Shire community to open their homes for the busy season, housing anyone from baristas, kitchen hands and chefs, hotel workers, cleaning staff, and tour guides struggling to find accommodation while working in the region.

TPDD Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett said the community needed to get creative to overcome the housing challenges.

“We are asking the Douglas community to step up and assist the tourism industry by putting forward any space they may have to accommodate our much-needed seasonal workers,” she said. “If you have a spare room, granny flat, vacant land suited to a tent or van we’re urging you to Adopt A Worker. Not only will you be helping those businesses who are there for you year-round, it is an opportunity to earn some extra dollars. “

TPDD Chief Executive Officer, Tara Bennett

Potential hosts could range from families on acreage to empty nesters with space aplenty, anyone with room to house a worker and benefit from expanding the close-knit community, whilst also forming beautiful relationships across the board.

Port Douglas local Sharon Timms has done exactly this, “I had a spare room and don’t mind a chat, so rather than seeing the space go unused, I’m more than happy to house someone while here on their tropical adventure.”

Iconic venues like Salsa Bar & Grill in Port Douglas, PK’s Jungle Bar in Cape Tribulation, and Daintree Discovery Centre are three examples of venues that are looking for temporary staff over the next six months but are unable to operate at full capacity due to accommodation shortages.

Salsa Bar and Grill Owner Rhys Bawden said his business has felt the issue firsthand. “We have staff members that have lived and worked in Port Douglas for over 15 years losing their homes to increased rent making them unaffordable, or properties that are being taken out of the rental pool to become holiday homes,” he said.

If you are interested in renting your extra space, get onboard, adopt a worker, and register here or by clicking on the image below.


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