Oct 17, 2016

Government gags debate on backpacker tax

The Government has tonight reinforced its abandonment of any due process by gagging debate on its Backpacker Tax and departure tax increase in the House of Representatives.

This is in spite of the fact that the Senate is not sitting again until the 7th of November.

It is beyond comprehension what the Government seeks to achieve in having the Bills sit idle for three weeks, except for denying the rights of local members to represent the hardworking agricultural and tourism sectors in their communities.

It is not surprising that the Government wants to hide its embarrassment at its ramshackle handling of this issue, which has lasted since the 2015 Budget.

The Government did not adequately consult the tourism and agricultural sectors on the Backpacker Tax.

To make matters worse, it failed to consult anyone at all on the Passenger Movement Charge increase.

That’s why Labor has referred this legislation to a Senate Committee, which will report next month.