Mildura Weekly : Friday December 2 Vol 11 No 5
NEWS 3 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 02, 2016 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU Months of angst and uncertainty for our primary producers and tourism operators has come to end... • From Page 1 That rate was voted down in the sen- ate late last week, after Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie proposed the tax be slashed to 10.5 percent – a figure supported by the Federal Opposition. Federal Member for Mallee Andrew Broad this week revealed he had “brokered a deal” with key cross-bench senators, includ- ing Senator Nick Xenophon, to ensure the issue was resolved before Parliament broke, with a new rate of 15 percent set. Mr Broad said amendments suggested by Senator Xenophon – which would allow unemployed Australians to work in the ag- ricultural sector and earn $5000 without it affecting their unemployment benefits, had formed part of that deal. Mr Broad said yesterday, while in Can- berra, that believing they had the numbers in the Senate, the Federal Government had passed the 15 percent legislation on Wednesday. In a shock to key Coalition figures, the Senate instead voted against the amended 15 percent rate, while continuing to insist on a tax of 10.5 percent. Cross-bench Senators Jacqui Lambie, Derryn Hinch, David Leyonhjelm and One Nation’s Rod Culleton voted with Labor and the Greens against the 15 percent bill, with both Senator Hinch and Culleton criticised for their “change of heart” after last week supporting a 19 percent rate. Mr Broad confirmed yesterday that he had sought meetings with both Senator Hinch and Culleton following the shock move. “We thought we had the numbers for a 15 percent rate, but clearly we lost the vote,” he said. “I also spoke with a few La- bour colleagues who also believed that a 15 percent rate is where this needs to land, otherwise it would undercut the hospitality industry. “This week has seen Parliament at its ab- solute worst, and clearly what’s in the best interest of the average person has been lost.” After what was looking increasingly like a stalemate – one that would see a 32.5 per- cent rate come into effect next year – the Co- alition was finally able to secure the support it needed in the Senate thanks to the Greens. It was anticipated that the 15 percent backpacker tax, including taxing working holidaymakers 65 percent of their superan- nuation, would be adopted by the Senate before Parliament concluded yesterday. However, the Mildura Weekly was yet to receive official confirmation before it went to print. Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon, said the Liberal Party was to blame for the “backpacker tax debacle.” He said under Liberal leadership, the backpacker tax went from zero percent to 32.5 percent in the 2015 Budget. “Then to 19 percent after a Malcolm Turnbull’s backbench revolted, and then to 15 percent after the cross-bench rolled the government,” Minister Fitzgibbon said. “At one point it was back at 32.5 per- cent after the Turnbull Government lost a second vote in the Senate.” ‘Backpacker tax’ saga over Locally owned store. Come in for more details! Packages can be extended to allow for your own travel plans either end of cruise. Great value & flexibility. All flights are economy class, cabins based on lead in prices twin share on cruises, all land based on twin share. Subject to availability and conditions. 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Friday November 25 Vol 11 No 4
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