News

Tourist tax slug could affect growers

THERE are fears a new tax hit for working holidaymakers may hurt fruit growers by dissuading some tourists from visiting Australia.

Government backbencher Keith Pitt, Member for Hinkler, said "it was possible" the budget measure could cause some travellers to shy away from choosing to work and travel in Australia.

At present, a working holidaymaker can be treated as a resident for tax purposes if they are in the country for more than six months.

Under the change, working holidaymakers lose a tax-free threshold of almost $20,000 on income earned while working on a 417 visa.

That means fruit pickers in regional areas during harvests would pay tax from the first dollar they earned.

Mr Pitt represents a key Queensland agricultural electorate reliant on tourist workers.

He said yesterday that he had not seen the details of the policy and he wanted an explanation of the budget decision.

Mr Pitt has also been keenly involved in government efforts to crack down on unscrupulous labour-hire firms exploiting such workers.

That issue sparked national concerns when aired on Four Corners a fortnight ago.

Mr Pitt has since established a Facebook campaign, titled "support our backpackers", to demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of farmers are "doing the right thing".

Gympie Times

Topics:  backpackers, budget 2015, farmers, tourists, working holiday



Who's on Meals on Wheels duty?

HOME DELIVERY: Gympie Meals on Wheels deliver nutritious meals five days a week.

Gympie Meals on Wheels roster for week ending September 30

Tips and trivia: Things you didn't know about tomatoes

Jody Allen loves one spring crop more than any other.

Fifth generation arrives for Gympie family

WE ARE FAMILY: Great-great-grandmother Ollie Cavanagh (seated front) flanked by great- grandmother Bev Brown, grandmother Andrea Gill and mother Alexis Mitchell with the latest addition to the family, two-month-old Blair Eloise Mitchell.

Fifth generation of Horton/Cavanagh/Browns born in Gympie

Local Partners

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

Highway upgrade drives momentum in affordable market

Accessibility and affordability are keeping interest high

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state