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Labour shortage flagged if backpacker tax proceeds

Citrus industry warns of a labour shortage if the Federal Government's tax hike on backpackers goes ahead.
Citrus industry warns of a labour shortage if the Federal Government's tax hike on backpackers goes ahead. Jamie Brown

AUSTRALIAN workers will not be there to pick up the slack if the Federal Government's backpacker tax drives foreign workers away, South Australia's citrus industry says.

A new tax system for backpackers on working visas is due to come into effect from July 1 this year.

The changes will see working travellers taxed 32.5 cents from the first dollar they earn and a $18,200 tax-free threshold will be scrapped.

Citrus SA committee member and citrus grower Mark Doecke said Australia's horticultural industries relied heavily on seasonal labour.

He said the tax was sure to result in a sharp drop in the number of backpackers looking for work in the region.

ABC

Topics:  agriculture backpacker business tax


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