National Farmers' Federation

ALP would scrap the backpacker tax

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed a commitment from the Australian Labor Party an ALP Government would abolish the destructive ‘Backpacker Tax’.
Speaking at a doorstop interview in Adelaide yesterday, Opposition leader Bill Shorten, confirmed earlier comments from Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, that Labor, if elected, would ‘kill this tax and kill it quickly’.
NFF President, Brent Finlay, said Labor’s commitment to removing this heavy burden from the agriculture industry would be welcomed by farmers across the country.
“The ALP, together with a number of minor parties, has recognised the short-term workforce crisis now facing Australian farmers because of the backpacker tax.” Mr Finlay said.
“A quarter of all farm workers are backpackers and, without them, we cannot meet seasonal work requirements, let alone produce quality food and fibre in increasing volumes to meet global demand.
“Farmers across the country are worried about their capacity to meet existing targets this year if they can’t get the workers they need.
“A six month delay doesn’t alleviate that concern and merely means the tax will take effect at what is the busiest time of the year for many farmers during summer harvest.”
Mr Finlay said the Coalition was now on its own in supporting the backpacker tax.
“We call on the Coalition to end the games and deliver certainty to rural Australia,” he said.
“How can the agriculture sector play its part in boosting economic growth and jobs without an adequate workforce?
“The tax has to go. We have offered a compromise and, if that’s not good enough, find another way to ensure that working holiday makers still want to come and work on Australian farms as soon as possible.”

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