Ob­jec­tion­able ob­jec­tion

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - OPINION -

IT’S hard to know who looked the sil­li­est in the de­bate last week over the back­packer tax.

For­tu­nately for our agri­cul­ture in­dus­try – but es­pe­cially up here our tourism in­dus­try – the mat­ter was re­solved at the 11th hour.

But it should never have been a sword hang­ing over our in­dus­try for 18 months in the first place.

And when it came down to get­ting it wrapped up be­fore the close of Par­lia­ment last week, dumb got even dum­ber as var­i­ous par­ties ar­gued over fairly small dif­fer­ences. Fif­teen or 13 per cent tax rate – who cares, com­pared with the risk that, if left un­re­solved, the de­fault 32.5 per cent rate would soon have kicked in and wrecked our back­packer mar­ket.

Back­pack­ers are an im­por­tant source of labour and con­sumers for our re­gion and hav­ing the govern­ment mess with it all was a ridicu­lous state of af­fairs.

That it turned into a cir­cus run by op­por­tunis­tic point-scor­ers in Can­berra shows how lit­tle the real world mat­ters to them.

THE sit­u­a­tion with the shire’s at­tempt to se­cure the land at Yule Point for Paws and Claws is another de­plorable po­lit­i­cal mess.

In­ter­est­ingly, the mayor said on ra­dio that there had been “just one, just one” ob­jec­tion to the DSC’s ap­pli­ca­tion for the land. It seems one ob­jec­tion is enough to de-rail some­thing that is in the vastly greater pub­lic good. It would need to be a very sub­stan­tial and re­spectable ob­jec­tion in­deed.

If not, the ob­jec­tion it­self is ob­jec­tion­able, and shame on the min­is­ter for be­ing so swayed by it.

Or if it’s not his fault, then ac­cept­ing blithely the ad­vice of the de­part­ment in­volved.

Per­haps we will all be en­light­ened on this point in due course.

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