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State Liberals Powerless on Backpacker Tax

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 22 September 2016

Tags: Primary Industries, Jobs, Tourism

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson

The Primary Industries Minister's comments about intervention on the poorly handled backpacker tax highlights the powerless position this government is in.

It's clear the State Liberals are still being punished by their Federal colleagues for the poor federal election result.

Time is running out for growers. This season's produce is being planted or already budding with no certainty that the 10,000 pickers who'll be needed this Summer and Autumn.

Under questioning on his efforts by the Greens, Minister Rockliff could only point to phone calls to Canberra and the paltry pleas of the Premier's former-Deputy of Chief of Staff, now backbench Senator, Jonathon Duniam.

People plan their working holidays well in advance. The planned 32.5% tax on backpackers has already deterred people from coming to Tasmania to work and holiday this Summer.

Delegations to Canberra seem to have failed.  The Turnbull Government has dismissed the crippling impact the backpacker tax will have on the State's agriculture and tourism sectors.

The opportunity to fix this has almost passed, and all Minister Rockliff can claim to have done is telephone his Federal colleagues.