WAFarmers calls on the State Ministers for Agriculture and Tourism to front the Prime Minister while he is in Western Australia to provide certainty on the proposed backpacker tax for the whole of the WA economy.
As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues his Federal Election campaign in Perth today, WAFarmers CEO Stephen Brown said this would be the perfect opportunity for Minister for Agriculture Dean Nalder and Minister for Tourism Colin Barnett to emphasise the critical nature of the issue.
“The agriculture and tourism industries are vital to the Western Australian economy, with both being heavily dependent on backpackers for seasonal work,” Mr Brown said.
“WA is the only state that stretches the full north-south length of the continent and, as such, is a year-round provider of agricultural produce, tourism and employment for backpackers.
“The uncertainty and lack of leadership by the Federal Government on this issue is resulting in backpackers either making a decision not to stay in Australia or not even come to Australia, heading for Canada or New Zealand instead.
“There is no time for uncertainty on this issue, and definitely no time to ‘watch this space’ as Minister Barnaby Joyce told the public last week.
“We implore Mr Nalder and Mr Barnett to represent the interests of the agriculture and tourism industries on this issue in discussions with Mr Turnbull and stress that, if not resolved in a timely manner, the backpacker tax will severely damage the future of regional and rural communities and businesses.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].