Written on the 10 February 2016 by Jael Napper


The Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly rejects the forthcoming legislation that abolishes the $18,000 tax-free threshold for non-resident workers (i.e. backpackers) who will have to pay 32.5c in tax for every dollar of income.

The change was announced by Joe Hockey in the government's budget last year and has been met with protest from the farming industry for the inevitable impacts to the supply of workforce critical to their crop harvest.

The 2014 Working Holiday Visa Report by the Department of Immigration shows a 10% declining trend in first-time working holiday visa's from 130,745 in December 2012 to 117,511 in December 2014.

President BCCI Rhondda Chappell said, "Australia is competing with countries like Canada who already offer considerably cheaper visa's ($150 vs $440) and now we're going to further deter working holidaymakers with this tax."

"What we have suggested to government is collecting the money otherwise given to travelers as 'superannuation' which is currently released in cash as soon as they department the country, often used to fund further travels abroad!"

"Such a levy would offer government $540million and save affecting farmers who rely so heavily on these workers."

"Government is spending billions of dollars on developing Northern Australia, with our agriculture and horticulture industries crucial in this process, yet the needs of current producers at such a basic and essential level is not being heard on this matter.

"Such a basic deterrent as this legislation could be detrimental to the ability of farmers to operate."

image: ABC

Author:Jael Napper

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