Relief on backpacker tax
TOURISM operators have had a reprieve from the possible introduction of a higher tax arrangement for backpackers.
In a surprise move yesterday the Turnbull government deferred the implementation of a 32.5 per cent backpacker tax for six months as of July 1.
The news came as a relief to local tourism operators, the hospitality industry and the agricultural sector who rely heavily on the backpacker workforce.
The policy will undergo a review process and operators will be given an opportunity to voice their opinions.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said it’s a great opportunity to gain a comprehensive insight before implementing a “rushed policy”.
“By deferring the tax for six months, this gives industry and stakeholders plenty of time to take part in the review process,” said Mr Entsch.
“They are saying that the tax will have a major impact on Australia’s ability to attract and retain seasonal holiday workers, so now they have an appropriate opportunity to demonstrate this.”
The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) welcomed the news but said the review still created uncertainity for potential visitors.
“With a review scheduled for early 2017, it leaves backpackers considering an Australian holiday unsure of what to expect and this will only further encourage them to consider and alternative such as New Zealand or an Asian destination,” said ATEC managing director peter Shelley.
“This review must go beyond addressing labour needs and also look at the toursim industry and the negative message we are sending..”
English backpacker Natalie Sexton