DISAPPROVAL: Bruce Rhoades strongly opposes the looming 32.5% backpacker tax.
DISAPPROVAL: Bruce Rhoades strongly opposes the looming 32.5% backpacker tax. Rob Black

YOUR STORY: Backpacker tax already has negative impact

I HAVE developed an aviation adventure travel business aimed primarily at the backpacker market.

We fly up to 30 backpackers a day to land on the beach at a permanent camp we have established within Eurimbula National Park.

Over the last months it has become increasingly obvious that their attitude now (with the looming 32.5% tax) is that Australia is not worth a prolonged stay if they cannot work and make reasonable income to finance an extended stay.

They can clearly see that there is no point to this (and I have to agree with them), therefore so many of them are planning a mere three-month stay and then off to NZ where they do not have such a punitive tax system, or Asia where they can extend their time and holiday very cheaply.

I just cannot understand how we have an elected government who are so completely lacking in common sense and cannot see the flow on effects of this blatant bit of treasury greed to attempt to tax visitors to our shores in such an outrageous way.

Visitors who cannot register their disapproval for highway robbery other than by voting with their feet as they exit the country.

Clearly Treasury and the government did no research or industry consultation at all before attempting to loot defenceless backpackers.

Well, they got that wrong as very clearly they do have a way to fight back!...Just leave!

Let me spell out the ripple effect for you.

Backpackers withdraw from the seasonal workforce and move to greener pastures (outside Australia);

Fruit and vegetable picking industry loses their prime source of seasonal workers;

Crops completely lost, or harvested at vastly increased prices.;

Dramatic rise in cost of fruit and veg in the supermarket for all and agricultural industry devastated;

Accommodation, travel and tourism industries across Australia experiences severe downturn in numbers.

These industries will downsize or close up shop resulting in significant increase in Australians unemployed.

So, Treasury will not get the $600 million in added tax income they have so blithely predicted. In fact with losses to all the flow-on industries Treasury may have less overall tax income and more unemployment for the government to finance. Jolly well done fellas. Are you proud of yourselves?

What can we do? Well we can't leave.

We must be as vocal and loud about our resentment in the public forum, pointing the finger squarely at our local Federal MP who is letting this roll through.

Make it clear to them they will be held directly accountable for damage caused to our industries by their short sighted tax where it counts, at the polling booth.

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