8 April 2016
On 16 March 2016 the Government announced that it would conduct a review of the 2015 Budget measure on tax arrangements for visitors on Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visas due to significant industry concerns about the impact of the measure.
The review encompassed industry consultations, inter-departmental negotiations and discussions with the Treasurer, the Minister for Employment and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to prepare a proposal that would then be submitted through the regular Cabinet processes.
During the consultations we held the industry contributed many constructive recommendations.
The main issue for industry is the potential impact on Australia's regional workforce. They are concerned that the tax changes could add to already decreasing WHM numbers, impact on seasonal worker availability, hinder our international competiveness in attracting youth travellers and, potentially, result in an increase in unregulated cash payments to these workers.
A proposal has been prepared in consultation with Australian Government agencies through an Inter-departmental Committee (IDC) chaired by Austrade and has drawn on options provided by agriculture and tourism industry representatives.
This proposal will need to be considered by the Government and we will make an announcement in due course.
We have been extremely pleased with the positive and genuine engagement that occurred with the tourism and agriculture industries in developing the options that are now being considered by the Government.
The tourism and agriculture industries are two of the five key super-growth sectors that will support our transitioning economy over the next decade and the Government will be ensuring the policy settings are right to support and capitalise on this growth.