QUEENSLAND farmers say they have once again been let down by frivolous and petty political posturing in Canberra, and after more than 18 months the backpacker tax saga remains unresolved.
Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) president Stuart Armitage said he was dismayed and frustrated that all side of politics had once again failed to deliver the certainty Queensland farmers and regional communities had sought and deserved.
“It is extremely disappointing that our politicians would rather play a game of ‘last man standing’ than resolve this urgent issue affecting Queensland’s farmers and regional communities,” Mr Armitage said.
“The outcome of the backpacker tax directly impacts on farmers livelihoods and their ability to operate their businesses.
“It is simply unacceptable that farmers and regional Queensland continue to be kicked around like a political football only to satisfy the egos and malignant infighting that now dominate the backpacker tax issue.”
Mr Armitage said politics was the art of compromise.
“No one gets everything they want,” he said. “Unfortunately, one of the many great things about Australia and our political system has always been the pragmatism of its people, and by extension its elected representatives. This guiding principle seems to have been lost following the defeat of the 15 per cent compromise.
“QFF has continually supported and advocated for an internationally competitive tax rate that ensures Australia remains an attractive and competitive destination for backpackers to work and play.
“With only one more parliamentary sitting day remaining in the year, time is running out to resolve the issue before the default rate 32.5pc commences on January 1. The 32.5pc rate is not internationally competitive and is a completely unacceptable outcome for Queensland.”