LETTER: Tax exception would make a difference

The backpacker visa relief is good and bad for many reasons. It is good for tourism, for the flow-on benefits to many local busi­nesses and to supplement any labour shortfall farmers may have.

The bad reasons surround the fact that because backpackers are not on a level playing field compared to local workers. Many locals 

either do not take on the work because after tax there is little financial benefit to the work. Many employers want only backpackers because this is to their advantage.

The only solution to this is to categorise a range of farm activities and place them under a special tax rate to match the backpacker rates for Australian residents.

This would not only increase ­local employment, it would encourage more into the workforce from metro areas and encourage more farmers to expand and grow.

Michael Rickard,