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WAFarmers not acting in members' best interest

16 Nov 2016



The WA Farmers Federation has effectively deserted its members, taking the bizarre step of refusing to advocate for lower taxes on backpackers.


Labor has listened to industry stakeholders and regional communities on the Turnbull Government’s botched backpacker tax and thrown its support behind a 10.5 per cent tax rate on backpackers.


A 10.5 per cent rate will ensure our farmers and other rural and regional businesses remain internationally competitive, matching the rate paid by backpackers working in New Zealand.


But after months and months of outraged campaigning for a lower tax rate than the Turnbull Government’s original 32.5 per cent proposal – including frequent claims that there should be no tax at all – WAFarmers has refused to support a lower tax rate and increased competitiveness for its members.


Instead it appears to be backing in the Turnbull Government’s proposed higher 19 per cent tax rate and is encouraging members to write to members of Parliament to convey this message.


Despite WAFarmers’ claims, it isn’t Labor or the crossbench standing in the way of a certainty for farmers – the ball is well and truly in Barnaby Joyce’s court.


The Deputy Prime Minister has completely botched this process from the beginning. Labor would happily pass amended legislation next week before the 32.5 per cent tax comes into force, if only the Turnbull Government would come to the party and support Australia’s farmers.

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