WAFarmers and the wider agricultural sector continue to be left in limbo by Parliament on the backpacker tax issue, following the defeat of the Coalition’s plan for a 15 per cent tax rate in the Senate this morning.
Labor’s amendment to the Bills to drop the tax rate to 10.5 per cent were supported by the Greens and crossbenchers including Derryn Hinch, David Leyonhjelm and Jacqui Lambie, sending the Bills back to the House of Representatives.
WAFarmers Chief Executive Officer Stephen Brown said industry was desperate for a solution, with only two sitting days remaining for the year in which a resolution could be determined.
“WAFarmers, alongside the National Farmers’ Federation, stands by our support for the Coalition’s recent 15 per cent compromise on the backpacker tax as we believe it is a fair, reasonable and competitive figure,” he said.
“We are furious that this has not been resolved, when it is so clearly a time-sensitive issue of critical importance to the future of multiple industries.
“The issue has been dragged out for 18 months during which time backpackers have chosen other destinations for their working holidays, leaving producers in the lurch and gaping holes in the tourism and hospitality sectors, plus the greater Australian economy.
“This additional delay demonstrates further contempt for the agricultural industry.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].