MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad’s claim (Sunraysia Daily, July 15) that the seasonal work incentives trial is a “win-win for local growers” is just political spin.
The trial is an egregious example of policy on the run, and was agreed to by a desperate Coalition in the dying seconds of the 2016 Federal Parliament, along with $100 million to environmental rehabilitation funding to buy off the Greens, in order to buy Senator Xenophon’s votes for a backpacker tax compromise deal.
That compromise deal followed 18 months of duck-shoving and dithering by The Nationals following Mr Hockey’s tax targeting of backpackers for budget repair in the 2015 budget.
Ongoing regional labour shortages can be attributed to this anti-
backpacker campaign, which saw this essential resource continually derided by The Nationals, including Mr Broad, as comprising unworthy freeloaders bludging off the Aussie taxpayer.
The idea that unemployed people can be substituted for the reliable and hitherto readily available backpacker workforce is rightly being condemned by industry at grassroots level.
The trial will be expensive, burdensome for employers, and will do nothing substantive to repair the damage done by Mr Broad and his colleagues in their search for ready cash.