Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker. Trevor Veale

Is that a tax in your backpack?

AFTER a long, drawn-out process, the Federal Government came to an agreement on a 15% backpacker tax.

The tax passed the Senate after the Greens agreed to support the Coalition's preferred rate on the final sitting date of 2016.

Member for Cowper and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, welcomed the resolution.

"Local farmers and tourism operators have been telling me they just want the issue resolved once and for all. I am very pleased that late last night, the legislation to reduce the rate of tax for foreign backpackers to 15% was passed by the parliament," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Our area is a magnet for travelling backpackers, with some estimates suggesting 6000 backpackers visit our region during the peak blueberry picking season.

"This issue could have been resolved almost two months ago, but Labor and Senator (Jacqui) Lambie decided that rank political opportunism was more important than Australian farming communities."

The new backpacker tax rate will apply from January 1, 2017 to anyone with a 417 or 462 category visa.



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