Australia’s cotton industry has welcomed the announcement yesterday by the Federal Government that a contractor had been appointed to progress the review into the proposed ‘Backpacker Tax’.
The measure, as originally proposed, would have taxed working holidaymakers at a rate of 32.5 cents on every dollar of income.
Cotton Australia (the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry), the National Farmers’ Federation, and other agricultural groups fought the proposal before the election. Subsequently, the Federal Government announced the proposal had been shelved in favour of a review of the tax.
“Cotton Australia, the NFF and our allies had argued that the proposal should be ruled-out completely, but we appreciate the Government announcing the review early in its term,” says Cotton Australia General Manager, Michael Murray.
“Many cotton growers rely on backpackers and other seasonal workers to ensure production at crucial periods of the year and, unfortunately, the announcement of a review does little to guarantee certainty for growers.”
“We want an assurance that the announced review will be genuinely consultative — growers will be gutted if, at the end of this process, the Backpacker Tax in its original form was simply reinstated.”
Mr Murray says Cotton Australia will work with the Government’s review team to ensure that the voice of cotton growers is heard in the process.