Local federal members voice opinions on backpacker tax cut
LOCAL Federal members in the North East and Goulburn Murray region of Victoria have voiced their approval of the backflip on the backpacker tax rate, however not all were happy with the length of time it took to reach a decision.
Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) said while she welcomed the “change of heart” on the backpacker tax the government should learn to conduct extensive research in the future before making decisions that impact rural and regional Australia.
“The government could get its policies right the first time if it consulted relevant industries and engaged with rural and regional communities before making uninformed decisions,” she said.
“This would save considerable time and expense for those people affected.”
Ms McGowan said it had taken a 16-month campaign from the agriculture and tourism industries to settle the backpacker tax issue.
“The outcome was good, but rural and regional people should not have been put through the rigmarole, expense and stress of having a tax that was clearly damaging, hanging over their heads for so long,” Ms McGowan said.
Damian Drum (MHR, Murray) said the tax rate cut is a win for Murray farmers who will now be able to get their fruit off the tree and off to market.
“With the peak tourism and harvest season ahead of us – especially with the harvest of apricots and cherries beginning in late November – it was critical that the tax rate issue was resolved quickly,” he said.
“This means farmers in Murray can continue to rely on strong seasonal labour support,” Mr Drum said.