Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan welcomed Cabinet’s decision to slash the proposed Backpacker Tax by almost a half.
“I am very happy that the Cabinet has taken on board my concerns, and indeed those of the agricultural sector, about the proposed tax,” he said.
“Cutting the tax to 19% from 32.5% will ensure backpackers will continue to come to our region providing our farmers with an adequate workforce to pick blueberries, harvest macadamias, process meat and milk cows.”
The changes follow a review of the proposed tax as part of a wider review of workforce shortages faced by the agriculture and tourism industries.
“Working holiday makers are an important source of workers for agriculture, with more than 90 per cent of second year working holiday maker visa holding having worked in agriculture in their first year in Australia,” Mr Hogan said.
“We have the opportunity to double our agricultural production to meet growing food demand and this decision means our farmers with the workforce to do that.
“I, any many of my National Party colleagues, have been talking with local farmers and our communities who were concerned that backpackers may choose not to come to Australia if they had to pay the proposed tax.
“I thank the Minister for taking this consultative approach and working through the issue with stakeholders.”