​Media Release

Horticulture, wine and fisheries to benefit from lowered backpacker tax rates

27 September 2016

The proposed 32.5 per cent tax rate that was to apply to working holiday visa holders will be reduced to 19 per cent, the Turnbull Coalition Government announced today.

​Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the 19 per cent rate would go a long way in continuing to attract the seasonal workforce necessary to cope with our peak labour demands. 

"The Coalition Government recognises the essential role played by Australia's Working Holiday Maker programme in our workforce, particularly across our agriculture and tourism sectors," Senator Ruston said.

"A 19 per cent tax rate will help maintain Australia's status as a competitive destination for working holiday makers while ensuring that they do pay their fair level of tax.

Senator Ruston said that while the approaching harvest season placed particular demands on the requirements for labour in primary industries, a viable itinerant workforce provided important year-round support to many primary producers.

"We're heading into important harvest periods for cherries and berries in Tasmania, peaches and strawberries in Queensland and tomatoes and melons in Western Australia," Senator Ruston said.

"Rock lobsters begin in November in Western Australia, Scallop splitting in January for Tasmania and fishing demands can peak around the country at any given time of the year.

"Today's announcement will provide certainty, and confidence to our producers in the lead up to harvest getting their product from the paddock, the ocean and the orchard into the marketplace.

"The Coalition has listened and has now delivered on this issue - an issue that is so fundamental not only to major sectors of our economy, but also to our competitiveness as a nation."​