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Winemakers Win as 'Backpacker Tax' is Passed

Winemakers Win as 'Backpacker Tax' is Passed

Last night, 18 months of uncertainty for winemakers and farmers came to an end with the passing of the ‘backpacker tax’ through the Senate. The Coalition’s preferred 15 per cent tax successfully passed with the support of the Greens; the Upper House approving the motion with 43 votes to 19.

With the peak tourism and harvest season ahead, farmers and winemakers look to backpackers to help harvest their crops across all regions through Working Holiday Maker visa applications. Last year alone saw over 200,000 Working Holiday Makers visas granted.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, Barnaby Joyce, was critical that of the Labor Party, stating a lack of care for a backpacker tax resolution. The tax was initially proposed at a 32.5 per cent rate and has seen a tumultuous course.

“Labor did not care about a resolution. They joyously wallowed in watching a large chunk of our agriculture sector being taken to the edge of a cliff. They had no regard for farmers, they showed disdain for Aussie workers; and demonstrated they had no care for consumers who would have paid sky-rocketing prices for fruit and vegetables over Christmas had Labor got its way to let produce rot on the trees,” Mr Joyce said.

After such a long journey to resolution, relief will be setting in with farmers and winemakers around the nation. With the backpacker tax now passed, the new 15 per cent rate is set to apply to Working Holiday and Work and Holiday visa holders as of 1 January 2017.

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