Backpacker tax changes to benefit regional Australia

14 October, 2016

Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, said proposed improvements to the way working holiday makers (backpackers) are taxed will provide confidence to regional economies across Australia.

The proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate that was to apply to working holiday makers (417 and 462 visa classes) will be slashed to 19 per cent following strong representations by regional members of the Coalition Government.

A strong advocate for changes to the backpacker tax, Pitt said the tax rate reduction to 19 per cent had been suggested by many stakeholders during previous rounds of consultation.

"The agricultural and tourism industries are essential to the regional economy in my electorate of Hinkler," Pitt said.

"We have listened to the concerns of stakeholders and developed a balanced solution.

"Today's (27 September 2016) announcement of the Coalition Government's amendments to the backpacker tax is a win for Wide Bay Burnett farmers and tourism operators.

They can now get on with what they do best – selling the region's world class attributes and getting their produce to domestic and export marketplaces.

"The proposal is a common sense solution.

"Not only does it ensure regional employers can rely on access to an essential workforce during times of peak demand, it also ensures Australia remains one of the most competitive destinations for working holiday makers.

"These changes will help local businesses deliver as the Coalition Government continues to improve market opportunities through increased trade, tourism and investment links with neighbours near and far."