Backpacker Tax Statement by Senator Lambie

JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has issued a statement on the Backpacker tax matter following an article by Phil Pyke the business development manager for Fruit Growers Tasmania in local media which reveals the Liberal Federal Government has ignored the crisis since May 2015.

“With regard to the Backpacker Tax Crisis - the facts speak clearly. The Liberal government has known about the emerging jobs and investment crisis for 16 months, since May 2015.

Already under the leadership of the Liberal and National parties the Backpacker Tax Crisis has caused tens - possibly hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Tasmania’s farming and tourism industries – because of political arrogance, stupidity and inaction.

The facts also show that Tasmanian Liberal senators have either:

  1. No influence in Canberra and are dangerously incompetent or
  2. Are part of a deliberate Liberal plan to destroy the tourism, berry, fruit and vegetable industries in Tasmania.

They have sat back, made lame excuse after lame excuse and watched - while Tasmanian farmers have been slowly strangled of seasonal workers and are forced to risk their families’ life savings. Tasmanian farmers and tourism operators are lucky that an independent fair-minded crossbench holds the balance of power in the Senate.

If the government held a majority in the Senate, all Tasmanians in the Agricultural and Tourism industries, especially those who visited Canberra last week, now know there’d be no hope of scraping this unfair, stupid and damaging backpacker tax.

However the hope has come – because its clear that this Senate Crossbench will not pass any Backpacker tax law, which threatens the viability of so many hardworking Australian farming families.

Its one thing for the Prime Minister Turnbull and his deputy Barnaby Joyce to talk about being agile and smart and say their government will create jobs and growth. However, it takes a special kind of foolish political hypocrite to utter those words - while actually doing the opposite.

Every day the Backpacker tax issue drags on – more international damage is caused to brand Tasmania. And the solution to all this madness and hurt is so simple. All the PM has to do is call a press conference and say, There won’t be any Backpacker tax. It is scrapped.” said Senator Lambie.