​Media Release

​Review of taxation arrangements for Working Holiday Maker visa programme a sensible approach for agriculture

​Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Keith Pitt


16 March 2016​

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, Assistant Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, Senator Anne Ruston, and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Keith Pitt, today welcomed a review into taxation arrangements for the Working Holiday Maker visa programme.

The review’s scope will cover taxation and superannuation arrangements under the programme. 

Minister Joyce said the review would help ensure the right measures are in place to support the two key growth sectors of agriculture and tourism.

“We know about 40,000 backpackers work in agriculture for a few months each year, the majority in horticulture at seasonal peaks,” Minister Joyce said.

“This review is evidence that the Australian Government has listened to the concerns raised about the impact of the ‘backpacker tax’ on our global competitiveness and many of our agricultural industries—especially horticulture.”

Assistant Minister Ruston said the review will look at the proposed tax arrangements to ensure Australia does not lose important market share in backpacker visitation.

“The clear aim is to make sure we have a balanced and equitable approach to the tax status for workers here on visas—we do not want to risk a slide into black market employment in agriculture and tourism,” Assistant Minister Ruston said. 
 
Assistant Minister Pitt said the right policy settings were essential in supporting both sectors.

“As the economy goes through a transition away from the mining sector, it’s important to make sure any change in taxation arrangements does not hurt either agriculture or tourism,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is a welcome opportunity for the agriculture sector, and the horticulture sector in particular, to provide input to the review process.”​