Backpacker tax delay welcomed, but more work needed

WAFarmers has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to delay the implementation of the proposed backpacker tax until January 1 2017, subject to a multi-department Federal Government review to be led by the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce.

Following extensive work from key industry groups to persuade the government to change the proposed tax, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer today announced that the introduction of the tax would be delayed, following a whole of government review.

WAFarmers CEO Stephen Brown said the message had finally got through to government, but that more work would be needed to protect Australia’s position as a destination of choice for working holiday makers.

“We congratulate everyone involved in pressuring the government to recognise that the backpacker tax would be detrimental to the Australian economy, the agricultural and tourism industries in particular,” Mr Brown said.

“While the delay and subsequent review are certainly positive outcomes, we now call on industry to continue to support reasonable changes to the tax and to speak up about the detrimental effects the current proposed tax would have on rural business.

“The agriculture and tourism industries are vital to the WA economy, with both being heavily dependent on backpackers for seasonal work, so we implore the State Government, key industry stakeholders and WA-based backpackers to come together with us to present a united front to the Federal Government during their review.”

Mr Brown said the ideal outcome would be for the tax to be scrapped entirely, but that a compromise in the form of a 19 per cent tax rate would be a fair outcome following the review.

ENDS.

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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