Farmers around Australia have breathed a collective sigh of relief as Federal Parliament agreed on a 15 per cent backpacker tax on the final day of sitting for the year.
The tax, which was at risk of being raised to 32.5 per cent if it wasn’t agreed on in time, was passed with 43 votes to 19, due to a last minute deal with the Greens.
As part of the deal, the Government will lower its 95 per cent backpacker’s superannuation tax to 65 per cent, as well as provide Landcare with an extra $100 million dollars.
The National Farmers Federation had been fighting for a tax rate between 15 and 19 per cent for some time, but were relieved to finally reach an agreement.
“It is extremely rewarding that this package is on the table,” President Fiona Simson said.
CEO of AUSVEG, the national body representing Australia’s vegetable and potato growers, Simon Bolles, also welcomed the decision.
“We are incredibly pleased to see this compromise finally rule out the damaging 32.5 per cent tax rate that threatened our industry,” he said.
Mr Bolles also commented on the mismanagement of the backpacker debate in Parliament, describing growers as being “held to ransom by political games”.
“This must never happen again. The farmers and growers of Australia deserve better,” he said.
Australian farmers are hoping the 15 per cent tax will mean backpackers will be looking to work immediately.