The amendment to the Working Holidaymaker Reform Bill proposed in the Senate should be supported by the Government as it delivers certainly around the tax rate and will allow the tourism industry to get back to business.
“Today the Parliament has passed the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) bill with some positive amendments for the tourism industry,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.
“We are pleased the PMC has had some certainty applied to it and welcome a freeze on any increase for the next five years, while accepting the $5 increase imposed by the Government.
“We also welcome the Senate’s amended tax figure for backpackers, passed by the Senate at 10.5%, as a positive message to the international youth visitor market.
"We urge the Government to now take charge of the bill and support its passage through the Lower House to remove the uncertainty which is negatively impacting the travel decisions of Working Holiday Makers.
“The Senate amendment will provide a competitive tax rate for working holiday makers deciding on whether to travel to Australia to work and holiday and will help to put momentum back into this market.
“This issue has been plaguing the tourism industry for far too long and is sending a negative message that Australia is an unwelcoming destination for the youth travellers.
"ATEC's members in particular, just want the certainty that will allow them to get back to the business of tourism.
“The export tourism industry is one of the great successes of Australia's economy and this debate has done little to support our positive image globally.
“Our message to the Turnbull Government is to move on - lets get back to being a positive destination which views working holiday makers as a valuable asset, providing a much needed rural workforce which also spends most of their earnings in regional Australia.”