PLEASE push this survey – Working Holiday Visa Tax Changes – we need evidence

January 26th, 2016 | | Events

Have-your-sayAs reported in The Byte last week the Federal Government has given its first indication it ‘might be’ prepared to ‘rethink’ an increase to the amount of tax paid by backpackers. Assistant Agriculture Minister Anne Ruston has said that she recognises concerns about looming labour shortages amid a downturn in working holiday makers to Australia. But she has yet to see evidence that the scrapping of the tax-free threshold for 417 visa holders will hurt farms that rely on backpacker labour.

Lets give her that evidence by pushing out this survey being conducted by Backpacker Job Board and get backpackers to let us know what they think and if they would have or will visit Australia if these changes are implemented.


URL for survey please copy and paste into your Facebook and other social feeds and onto your websites.  This could help determine whether the rural farming and tourism sectors are stripped of millions of $$ is worker and traveller spending.


You get just one chance to make a difference, have your say and get others to as well.


Arranged by Chris Harrison, Editor of The Byte.

2 Responses

  1. My thoughts are that Working Backpackers come into the country with very little and do jobs that many Australians won’t do! spends what they earn on experiences in Australia and leaves with very little .
    Robert Forster

  2. Gavin Imlach says:

    I own and manage a working hostel in NW Tasmania where I accommodate 120 WHV holders while they are participating in the primary industry harvest.
    Farmers recruit directly from me so I have a perspective from both sides. The overwhelming consensus is that this tax change will have a crippling impact.

    This issue dominates discussions I have with my backpackers and they are definite and all agree that at a tax rate of 32.5%, Australia is off their list from July 1, 2016, they will not be here for next year’s harvest, it simply will not be financially worth their while coming to Aus. This is not a misconception, it is coming from the ‘horses mouth’.

    Australia has a high hourly rate compared to many other countries but the cost of living is high and with the added tax, they concede that it would be no different to staying and working in their own country.

    Primary producers have come to rely on these workers and have been able to expand and increase their production to the benefit of regional Australia and Australian society in general. The demand for these workers outstrips supply so a downturn in numbers will not only reduce the tax paid but will surely leave our primary producers unable to harvest their crops.

    I had plans to expand my accommodation business but am now planning to downsize which affects my small country township which at present enjoys the benefits from 120 extra people spending every day.

    Costa Berry Exchange employ 1100 berry pickers, all WHV workers, that is just one of many, there simply is not enough locals to do this job. Liberals, take a good hard look at what impact this tax change will actually have. Without doubt, there will not be an increase in tax paid, all of us in the industry will no longer be as profitable as we are now and consequently , I for one, will be paying less tax as my income diminishes which will impact on the other industries and employees that service my business. The farmers are not prepared for this decrease in workers and I can envisage crops rotting on the ground, not good for profitability.

    I liken this to the sudden ban on beef export to Indonesia, those unsuspecting cattle farmers are still reeling from that extreme unjust action, please, learn from that mistake, take a deeper, more involved investigation and the facts outlined here will be realised.