One of the nation’s largest horticulture production regions is hopeful there will be substantial changes to the backpacker tax after meeting with senior politicians.
The proposed changes for Working Holiday Makers originally planned for a 32.5 per cent tax but a review could see the plan changed.
Delegates from Victoria’s Sunraysia region met with Senator Anne Ruston to raise their ongoing concerns about the tax change and the risk it could dramatically reduce seasonal worker numbers in the area.
Jenny Garonne from the Mildura Development Corporation said, despite the changed tax still needing to raise $540 million for the Federal Government, she believed a workable alternative would be found.
Ms Garonne said alternative tax rates had been proposed by agriculture bodies and tourism businesses to keep regional areas as attractive locations for backpackers.
“There has been a number that have been bandied around over the past two or three months; they’ve included a flat tax of anything from nothing through to 13, 19, 20 per cent,” she said.
“Some contractors are already seeing a drop in the people who would normally come to Australia.
“There’s a real concern for the farmers that they might not be able to have the labour. To listen to the interview click here.
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