BACK­PACKER TAX IS OUR POL­I­TICS AT THEIR WORST

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

In what could be de­scribed as one of the best ex­am­ples of the worst of pol­i­tics, Queens­land farm­ers have once again been let down by friv­o­lous and petty po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing in Can­berra to­day, and af­ter more than 18 months the back­packer tax saga re­mains un­re­solved.

I ex­press my dis­may and frus­tra­tion that all side of pol­i­tics had once again failed to de­liver the cer­tainty Queens­land farm­ers and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties have sought and de­serve.

It is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing that our politi­cians would rather play a game of ‘last man stand­ing’ than re­solve this ur­gent is­sue af­fect­ing Queens­land’s farm­ers and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.”

The out­come of the back­packer tax di­rectly im­pacts on farm­ers liveli­hoods and their abil­ity to op­er­ate their busi­nesses.

It is sim­ply un­ac­cept­able that farm­ers and re­gional Queens­land con­tinue to be kicked around like a po­lit­i­cal foot­ball only to sat­isfy the egos and ma­lig­nant in­fight­ing that now dom­i­nate the back­packer tax is­sue.

Pol­i­tics is the art of com­pro­mise. No one gets ev­ery­thing they want. Un­for­tu­nately, one of the many great things about Aus­tralia and our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem has al­ways been the prag­ma­tism of its peo­ple, and by ex­ten­sion its elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

This guid­ing prin­ci­ple seems to have been lost fol­low­ing the de­feat of the 15 per cent com­pro­mise.

QFF has con­tin­u­ally sup­ported and ad­vo­cated for an in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive tax rate that en­sures Aus­tralia re­mains an at­trac­tive and com­pet­i­tive des­ti­na­tion for back­pack­ers to work and play.

With only one more par­lia­men­tary sit­ting day re­main­ing in the year, time is run­ning out to re­solve the is­sue be­fore the de­fault rate 32.5 per cent com­mences on 1 Jan­uary 2017.

The 32.5 per cent rate is not in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive and is a com­pletely un­ac­cept­able out­come for Queens­land.

QFF joins our in­dus­try mem­bers Cot­ton Aus­tralia and Grow­com in call­ing for an ur­gent res­o­lu­tion to the back­packer tax.

Queens­land Farm­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion (QFF) Pres­i­dent Stu­art Ar­mitage

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