Fruit will be picked thanks to common sense

Farmers across the Riverina and Central West now have certainty for the coming harvest with the passage of the Backpacker Tax through the Parliament this week according to the Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack.

“I’ve been in Parliament for the past two weeks, standing up for the regions and representing the interests of those who rely on backpackers to harvest their crops and pick the fruit from the trees,” Mr McCormack said.

“I have fought alongside my Coalition colleagues to reduce the Backpacker Tax – so backpackers remain attracted to visiting our communities and so farmers have access to the necessary labour to help with their harvest.

“Now that the rate has been set at 15%, far less than the original 32.5%, farmers and horticulturalists across the region can be comfortable knowing that the rate has been settled on by the Parliament and continue to carry on with one of the busiest periods on the land.

“The Labor Party brought in this backpacker tax in yet another example of their lack of understanding of rural and regional Australia. They stood in the way and blocked the Government’s sensible reduction of the tax – a cut of over half the tax.

“This is a sensible outcome and one that I am pleased the Parliament was able to deliver before the end of the year,” Mr McCormack said.

Cristy Houghton