Win for local industries with proposed backpacker tax rate cut

The proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate that was to apply to working holiday visa holders from July 1 will be slashed to 19 per cent following strong representations by regional representatives in Government.

The Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the change recognised the importance of keeping regional economies strong, and protected the horticultural and viticultural sectors and tourism industry of the South West.

“Agriculture and tourism makes a fundamental contribution to local economy in the South West” Mrs Marino said. “The win on backpacker tax is a win for South West farmers who can get their fruit off the tree, off the vine and off to market.”

“It’s one more way that we are working to ensure our region remains a vibrant hub of industry and employment into the future.”

“Our local Members of Parliament have been fearless champions on behalf of their regions, their agricultural stakeholders and common sense, and the announcement today is a direct result of our hard work and persistence.”

Mrs Marino said the decision to reduce the proposed tax rate from 32.5 per cent to 19 per cent tax would maintain Australia’s status as one of the most competitive destinations for working holiday makers, while ensuring they pay a fair level of tax.

“That means that local businesses can continue to rely on strong seasonal labour support.

“The peak tourism and harvest season is ahead of us, with thinning of fruit and vines giving way to harvest in the New Year.

“More than 1700 stakeholders contributed to the review through written submissions and face to face consultations. They made it clear that an early resolution to the tax rate issue was needed.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government listened and is now providing certainty to stakeholders for the upcoming harvest and tourism seasons.”

Information about the changes will be progressively uploaded to


Working Holiday Maker visa applications


  • The programme has grown significantly since its inception in 1975. There have been over 200,000 working holiday makers coming to Australia each year since 2011.
  • There were 214,583 Working Holiday Maker visas granted in 2015-16.
  • The reduction will apply to all Working Holiday (417) and Work and Holiday (462) visa holders.