Mildura Weekly : Friday March 18 Vol 10 No 19
Distributed FREE every Friday FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2016 WWW.MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU VOL 10 #19 Only 3 weeks to go See page 44 for full details with Terms & Conditions Mildura Toyota By VINNIE RODI IN what could prove to be a win for the region’s horticulture and tourism industries, the Federal Government this week confirmed it will review its controversial ‘backpacker tax’. Speaking at Tourism Australia’s Destination Australia conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Tourism, Senator Richard Colbeck, confirmed he would head a cross- departmental review of the tax at the request of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The review will seek a “revenue-neutral so- lution in consultation with the employment, agriculture and industry ministers to take to Treasurer Scott Morrison for Cabinet approval, and possible inclusion in the upcoming bud- get.” Originally scheduled to come into effect on July 1, the proposed backpacker tax would have seen working holiday visa holders taxed 32.5 cents from the first dollar earned up to $80,000, while also eliminating access to the $18,000 tax-free threshold. “Legitimate concerns have been raised about the impact the so-called backpacker tax would have on our global competitiveness as a backpacker destination,” Senator Colbeck said. “The backpacker workforce is vital to two of our key super growth sectors – agriculture and tourism. We have therefore decided that the proposed tax arrangements require further discussions to ensure Australia does not lose market share in backpacker visitation.” Senator Colbeck said that while backpack- ers would still be taxed, the committee would look at other measures to ensure there was no negative impact. “The key issue is to ensure we have a bal- anced and equitable approach to the tax status for workers here on visas,” he said. The proposed backpacker tax has been cause for concern among the region’s horti- culture and tourism sectors, with crisis talks, organised by Mildura Development Corpora- tion, held in the region last month. Several backpacker hostel operators, con- tractors and horticulturalists – who rely on backpackers for seasonal labour – have also indicated a drop in backpacker visitation to Sunraysia due to the proposed tax. • Continued Page 2 Taxing times Federal Government to reconsider controversial backpacker impost Saddling up to beat depression Mildura’s third Black Dog Ride this weekend will raise awareness of depression and suicide in the area, as well as raising funds to establish a Lifeline centre in Mildura. Amongst the 300 riders and pillions expected to take part will be the organisers of the event, from left to right, Stephen and Leanne Hegedus, Ray Pratt and Michael Billings. More Page 5 1800 HEAR 4 U 1800 432 748 03 5022 7333 MILDURA | MERBEIN | OUYEN | RED CLIFFS | ROBINVALE | WENTWORTH www.chcare.com.au Our People, Quality Service, Your Life Country Hearing Care is more than just another hearing clinic. We are about you, about your quality of life and about the way you want to live and interact in our community. At country hearing care, we hear you. Your desire is our passion. Hearforyou!
Friday March 11 Vol 10 No 18
Friday March 25 Vol 10 No 20