Following the Federal Government’s decision to review the proposed backpacker tax, WAFarmers attended a round-table workshop with Federal Ministers and Senators this week to discuss the latest developments and the impact on the agricultural sector.
Executive Officer Grady Powell represented WAFarmers in Sydney to consider alternatives to the Federal Government’s current proposal which would see backpackers taxed 32.5 per cent and removal of the tax-free threshold.
The round-table workshop, which was hosted by Tourism Minister Senator Richard Colbeck, Assistant Minister for Agriculture Senator Anne Ruston and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Keith Pitt MP, included representation on behalf of numerous agricultural, tourism and employment sector businesses and organisations.
Mr Powell said it was an excellent opportunity for a broad range of key stakeholders to discuss the proposal in an open and interactive environment.
“The current proposal has the potential to harm industry and stifle production, so it was critical that Western Australian interests were represented at a Federal level,” Mr Powell said.
“As a result, WAFarmers advocated on behalf of a range of stakeholders to convey a strong whole-industry approach, these bodies being: Australian Hotels Association (WA), The Job Shop, The Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, Pomewest, Wines of Western Australia, 2 Workin Oz, VegetablesWA, Port Hotel (Carnarvon), Fish and Whistle Backpackers (Carnarvon).
“The paper presented by WAFarmers on behalf of our organisation and the other invested bodies conveys the views and impacts that the wide array of industries represented will endure should the current proposal be implemented.”
Following this workshop, the Federal Government gave participants an unrealistic time frame in which to develop a cost-neutral alternative to the current 32.5 per cent proposal which, Mr Powell explained, was inadequate.
“We call on the Federal Government to defer any decision on the future of the proposal to the mid-year Budget, to ensure the industry and associated stakeholders can give the issue the consideration it deserves,” he said.
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].
For further information on the paper presented by WAFarmers, contact Grady Powell on (08) 9486 2100 or email [email protected].