Australia: Veg growers call on Canberra to finally pass backpacker tax

The Australian vegetable industry has called on Canberra to do the right thing by farmers and finish passing the backpacker tax bills as soon as possible, following the Senate adopting an amendment to the bills moved by Senator Jacqui Lambie to revise the proposed backpacker tax rate to 10.5 per cent.

After over a year of deliberation and uncertainty for Australian farmers, a finalised rate for the backpacker tax now relies on all sides of politics to reach a compromise, with AUSVEG urging all politicians to come together for the sake of the industries that rely on backpacker labour.

“Politicians from all parties need to work together and pass these bills so that our growers can finally have some certainty and so they can get on with their work feeding the country,” said AUSVEG CEO Simon Bolles.

“Since the backpacker tax was first proposed at the rate of 32.5 per cent from the first dollar earned, we have seen repeated reviews, inquiries and revisions, and we’re rapidly running out of time.”

“Now is not the time for further political games – now is the time for these bills to be passed through Parliament so that we can finally put this to rest.”

“Every day that passes without this problem resolved is another day of uncertainty about backpackers coming to Australia, and another day of damage to the Australian vegetable industry,” said Mr Bolles.

“Our growers cannot afford further delays. We ask that all parties come together and pass these bills so that our growers and backpackers overseas planning their future working holidays can start properly planning for the future.”

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