The ongoing debacle of the backpacker tax has the Turnbull Government twisted in knots.
Sixteen months on from when it was first announced in the 2015 Budget, the Government says the Bill to implement the tax increases is so urgent, normal parliamentary process is not necessary.
But yet it failed to list the Bill for debate in the Parliament.
This debate ignores an obvious question – will dropping the tax increase the number of backpackers working on our blocks and will it solve the much talked about farm industry labour shortages?
The fact is we can’t force WHMs (Working Holidaymaker program people) to work on farms.
WHMs can work anywhere in Australia for the first 12 months and the majority tend to find work in major cities rather than on farms.
This explains why many Australian workers employed in non-farming sectors are concerned about backpackers taking local jobs from young Australians.
The ongoing debacle compounds the failure of the government to address widespread exploitation of workers and the uncertainties of labour supply that our farmers have to contend with.
Opposition assistant spokesperson for Rural and Regional Australia