Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA has welcomed the Federal Government’s back-down on its proposed ‘Backpacker Tax’.
The Federal Government has announced a change to its original proposal to tax working holidaymakers 32.5 per cent from the first dollar earned to 19 per cent.
“It’s still not ideal, but it’s better than what was proposed and I’m pleased they’ve listened to the concerns of industry and business,” Ms Davies said.
She called on the Federal Government to undertake a targeted campaign to promote Australia as a great place to travel and work for working holidaymakers.
“Anecdotal evidence is that working visa numbers are down even though the tax is yet to be implemented, it’s already impacted businesses in the region,” she said.
“The 417 Visa has provided these businesses flexibility, allowing them to fill jobs that are not attractive to permanent residents due to the seasonal and part-time nature of the work.
“The Federal Government needs to repair the damage caused by the tax by promoting Australia as a great destination for backpackers.”
She said The Nationals WA had lobbied against the tax from the outset amid concerns from key stakeholders about its negative impact on employers and workers in industries across regional WA including agriculture, a mainstay of the electorate, and tourism.
“We have fought hard against this tax given the number of industries across regional WA that depend on unskilled backpackers to fill casual and seasonal employment vacancies that are often difficult to source locally,” Ms Davies said.
“Backpackers also spend money as they travel, supporting local businesses and regional communities.”
For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 08 9041 1702 (Merredin office), 08 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.