Backpacker tax compromise a relief for farmers

WAFarmers and the wider agricultural sector have welcomed the announcement by Treasurer Scott Morrison that the Coalition has agreed to a compromise of 15 per cent on the backpacker tax.

The decision comes off the back of extensive campaigning from industry and the tourism and hospitality sectors, particularly in recent weeks when the issue was in a stalemate.

WAFarmers Chief Executive Officer Stephen Brown said the organisation was pleased for industry that a fair compromise had been reached.

“The 15 per cent compromise is a huge relief to farmers as we head into the peak working season for backpackers in the agriculture, tourism and hospitality sectors,” Mr Brown said.

“The Government has adopted a common sense approach which will see backpackers taxed at the same rate as those working in Australia through the Seasonal Workers Programme. 

“Streamlining the tax rate to 15 per cent across the board for all foreign labour will minimise confusion for employers and employees, while ensuring Australia remains an attractive competitive nation to holiday and work.

“Further, there should not be any negative impact from the 15 per cent tax rate for Australian workers in the industry as they will still receive the $18,200 tax free threshold.

“The extra four per cent backpackers will save will also be of benefit to the Australian economy as they will spend those additional funds in regional communities.

“We look forward to the legislation being passed so that certainty for the three key industries affected by this tax can be secured.”


All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].


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