'Eleventh hour' backpacker tax decision welcomed
IT'S been a drawn-out affair, but Granite Belt growers have welcomed the settlement of the so-called backpacker tax.
Pozieres apple grower and Apple and Pear Australia Ltd director Rosie Savio welcomed Thursday night's move to a compromised 15% tax rate for working holiday visa-holders.
"It's a good outcome that'll make the backpackers want to come,” Ms Savio said. She said it was initially looking unlikely the decision would be made on Thursday, but she was thankful to be proved wrong.
Horticulture body Growcom also welcomed the move to change the tax to 15%. Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie thanked the Greens for finding common ground with the Coalition.
"Growers can breathe a sigh of relief that sanity has finally been restored in the form of a competitive rate of tax agreed to by the industry which is equivalent to that paid by workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme,” Ms Mackenzie said.
"A 15% tax rate will ensure that Australia will continue to be seen overseas as an attractive destination for working holiday makers.”
Queensland Farmers' Federation president Stuart Armitage said farmers would "finally have the certainty” they had been calling for.
"QFF is satisfied that the 15 per cent tax rate restores Australia's competitiveness as a destination for backpackers,” he said.
The Bill was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday night.
Seasonal workers on a 416 visa, as well as 417 and 462 visa-holders, will be taxed at 15%. The same agreement included a change to superannuation, which will be set at 65% for 417 and 462 visa-holders from July 1 next year.
The Federal Government also agreed to a one-off Landcare Australia funding boost of $100 million.