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AUSVEG heads to Canberra to take up the fight on ‘backpacker tax’

Horticulture body AUSVEG has travelled to Canberra to conduct an extensive series of political meetings this week on behalf of Australia’s vegetable and potato growers to address a number of issues that are affecting the industries, including the contentious ‘backpacker tax’.

Led by Chairman Geoff Moar and Chief Executive Officer Simon Bolles, the peak industry body for the vegetable and potato industries advocated strongly for the Government to consider the concerns of industry before making a decision on the controversial tax. AUSVEG also represented growers on other important issues, including labour hire concerns and competition policy.

“AUSVEG has had some very productive meetings with politicians from all sides of Parliament this week, particularly regarding the backpacker tax,” said AUSVEG CEO Simon Bolles.

“We are concerned about the ramifications of this tax – not just for Australian horticulture, but for all rural and regional communities that rely on backpackers as an invaluable source of labour and income.”

“Our concerns were met with support from a number of politicians, including from Senator Jacqui Lambie, who has been a long-time supporter of the Australian vegetable and potato industries and a vocal opponent of the backpacker tax.”

“We also had positive meetings with other agricultural organisations, including the National Farmers’ Federation, which we hope will aid in our efforts to further unite Australian horticulture.”

AUSVEG met with a variety of politicians and departmental representatives, Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Andrew Broad MP, The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Daryl Quinlivan, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

“AUSVEG will continue to fight for Australia’s vegetable and potato growers to ensure that their concerns regarding policies that could affect their livelihoods are effectively heard by decision makers in Canberra,” said Mr Bolles.

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