Re­view of the back­packer tax

Isis Town and Country - - NEWS -

FED­ERAL Mem­ber for Hin­kler Keith Pitt is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to have their say on a re­view of the back­packer tax.

The Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the start of a re­view and pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the broad range of is­sues af­fect­ing the sup­ply and re­mu­ner­a­tion con­di­tions of labour per­formed by Work­ing Hol­i­day Maker visa hold­ers.

As­sis­tant Min­is­ter to the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Luke Hart­suyker, who has re­spon­si­bil­ity for agri­cul­tural work­force mat­ters, will be lead­ing the re­view.

Mr Pitt has wel­comed the ini­tia­tive and said it was es­sen­tial to en­sur­ing the gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy set­tings con­tin­ued to meet grow­ing de­mand for flex­i­ble labour, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral and re­gional Aus­tralia.

“Both farm­ers and tourism op­er­a­tors have ex­pressed their opin­ions to me about the sup­ply and tax­a­tion of work­ing hol­i­day visa hold­ers, and I have lis­tened to their con­cerns,” Mr Pitt said.

“The gov­ern­ment recog­nises that the 200,000-plus work­ing hol­i­day-mak­ers who come here each year are a vi­tal source of labour across the na­tion, which is why we have de­ferred for six months im­ple­men­ta­tion of the so-called back­packer tax, pend­ing the out­come of this re­view.”

The re­view will ad­dress the gov­ern­ment’s terms of ref­er­ence, which are fo­cused around four key themes:

Aus­tralia’s in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness for back­pack­ers; sea­sonal and tem­po­rary jobs and pro­jected growth in agri­cul­ture and tourism; sup­port for small busi­nesses around engaging sea­sonal labour; and pro­tec­tions for vul­ner­a­ble work­ers.

“As I’ve stated on many oc­ca­sions, it is equally im­por­tant that work­ing hol­i­day-mak­ers pay a fair level of tax while in Aus­tralia. How­ever this is a com­plex is­sue that goes beyond the tax rate alone,” Mr Pitt said.

“I en­cour­age ev­ery­one with an in­ter­est in th­ese im­por­tant is­sues to make a sub­mis­sion.”

Sub­mis­sions close on Septem­ber 2. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit .agri­cul­ture.gov.au /work­inghol­i­day­maker.

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