Backpacker Tax Review to Commence

The Coalition Government today announced the commencement of a review and public consultation on the broad range of issues affecting the supply and remuneration conditions labour performed by Working Holiday Maker visa holders.

The Member for Forrest Nola Marino has welcomed the initiative, saying that the review needed to take into account the growing demand for flexible labour in the agricultural and tourisms industries of the South West.

“I am well aware of the importance of both industries to the region, and of their need to access workers” Mrs Marino said. “We have been listening to the concerns of both industries and the communities of the South West, and this review will look more deeply at the potential impacts.”

The review will be led by Luke Hartsuyker, the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

“The government recognises that the 200,000 plus working holiday makers who come to Australia each year are a vital source of labour across the nation, which is why we have deferred for six months implementation of the so-called backpacker tax, pending the outcome of this review” Mrs Marino said.

“To help fully capture the views of both agriculture and tourism sectors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu have been commissioned to lead the public engagement process.”
The review will address the government’s terms of reference, which are focused around four key themes:

    1. Australia’s international competitiveness for backpackers
    2. seasonal and temporary jobs and projected growth in agriculture and tourism
    3. support for small businesses around engaging sea sonal labour, and
    4. protections for vulnerable workers.

“This review will be based on informed understanding not only of the seasonal and temporary labour challenges facing our industries, but also the challenges facing the Australian economy is a global labour market” Mrs Marino said. “I encourage everyone with an interest in these important issues to get involved.”

Submissions can be made at www.agriculture.gov.au/workingholidaymaker and must in in by Friday September 2nd.

The review’s outcomes will take the form of a government announcement in advance of any changes coming into effect from 1 January 2017.