COTTON growers say they can now get on with the job of producing a bumper 500,000 hectare cotton crop expected this season, with the compromise 15pc backpacker tax rate finally locked away.
Cotton Australia general manager Michael Murray said common-sense had finally prevailed, ending 18 months of political chaos and uncertainty faced by farmers.
“The political games of the past 18 months do not represent the best of Australian politics and farmers are glad to see the issue of the backpacker tax in the rearview mirror,” Mr Murray said.
Mr Murray said certainty has been restored for growers who relied on seasonal labour at critical times of the season and the rural communities that rely on agriculture.
“The 15pc tax rate restores Australia’s competitiveness as a destination for backpackers,” Mr Murray said.
“Seasonal workers are absolutely critical to our industry’s productivity, especially over summer when labour requirements peak.
“Cotton Australia has long-opposed the proposed 32.5pc tax rate, which would have been disastrous. Over the past 18 months, Cotton Australia has been part of a coordinated campaign with the National Farmers’ Federation, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation and many other allied groups across farming and tourism in prosecuting the case for a sensible rate.”