Sticking to the letter
INSIDE a premier’s office somewhere in south-east Queensland . . . “Ah, there you are Mark, come in.” “Thank you ’Stacia.” “The natives up in Port Douglas are restless again. Something about really, really wanting lollipop ladies for the crossing at the state school. Doesn’t seem too hard to do, does it?
“— er, well, the crossing is too far away from the school to meet our scientific formula for such things, Premier, and we have to stick by our own rules.”
“Yes, I suppose so, but what if a kiddie gets knocked down on that road, all hell will break loose. I see the local paper still hasn’t shut up about it and has been urging Billy G to get into action and even put John-Paul on to the case. Blasted troublemakers.”
“— yep, but fortunately Billy seems to be looking the other way. You never know how he’ll vote on anything. But with his balance of power thing he could really give us a hard time on this.”
“Too right. I see you’ve drafted a letter in response to John-Paul’s nagging. But after the bit where you say no, it can’t be done, you tell everybody how we’re going to fund another 75 lollipop ladies! Rubbing their nose in it a bit, don’t you think, now we’re saying they can’t have any? Make sure you take that out before you send the letter out.” ++++++++ As if the reef’s problems aren’t enough, now we have the federal government wanting to stick it to backpackers.
The agricultural lobby has been fighting this idea of putting a 32.5 per cent tax rate on the earnings of backpackers, fearing that orchardists and others would be left without a labour force as the backpackers decide to stay away.
Backpackers are also tourists, and workers in hospitality serving other tourists. This tax is a bad move.