NT Govt slams backpacker tax plan

NT Govt slams backpacker tax

NT Primary Industry Minister Ken Vowles has urged the Federal Government to axe the proposed backpacker tax. 

Mr Vowles last week met representatives of the Territory mango industry, as fears grow there will be insufficient seasonal workers for the fast approaching mango season.

NT Mango Industry Association president Leo Skliros said the uncertainty about the backpacker tax has resulted in record low numbers of backpackers applying for seasonal jobs.

“With early rain in September this year, it will be a big mango season in Darwin and Katherine, with picking already starting at some farms,” Mr Skliros said.

“Agricultural Industries like mangoes rely heavily on seasonal labour – backpackers and employer sponsored workers.

“Crops need to be harvested and without these workers we cannot run our businesses.

“The backpacker tax is already having a detrimental impact on the Territory mango industry.” Mr Skliros said.

In the NT, backpackers represent 85 per cent of agricultural labour.

Mr Vowles said it is now crunch time for the Federal Government to axe the backpacker tax.

“This is a tax on the territory. The uncertainty of this tax is hurting Territory businesses.” Mr Vowles said.

“I join with the Territory mango industry in lobbying the Federal Government to axe the backpacker tax,” he said.

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