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Whitsunday Regional Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to delay the introduction of the proposed backpacker tax for six months, pending the outcome of a government-wide review to be carried out by 1 January 2017.
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the decision to delay the introduction of the backpacker tax, which would impose a 32.5 per cent tax rate on backpackers’ earnings, was good news for the Whitsunday Region’s economy, which relies heavily on seasonal workers.
“We do however need to fight have this tax abolished all together,” Cr Willcox said.
“The success of our local horticulture and tourism sectors is vital to the continued growth of our region’s economy, and both of those sectors require access to a reliable seasonal workforce which is ready, willing and able to return to our region season after season,” he said.
“I’ve spoken with many local farmers, business owners and tourism operators who have all expressed concerns about the Federal Government’s proposed backpacker tax, which could potentially deter backpackers from living and working in the Whitsunday Region.”
“Backpackers and seasonal workers who are living locally and earning locally, are also likely to be spending locally and supporting our local businesses.
“Council is very pleased that the Federal Government has committed to reconsidering the proposed backpacker tax, and I am sure that local farmers, business owners and tourism operators will welcome the opportunity to participate in this review.”
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