Riverina farmers rejoice as deal struck on backpacker tax

Deal struck over backpacker tax.
Deal struck over backpacker tax.

RIVERINA farmers have been thrown an unlikely lifeline over the controversial backpacker tax, with the Greens yesterday afternoon agreeing to support the government on the issue.

The eleventh hour rescue brings to an end 18 months of uncertainty for many local fruit and veg growers. On Wednesday, it appeared the senate was at a stalemate after crossbench senators refused to support the Coalition’s 15 per cent tax rate.

With yesterday the final sitting day of parliament and the tax to revert to 32.5 per cent on January 1, 2017, farming groups were furious.

But in a surprise move, the Greens yesterday agreed to support the 15 per cent rate in the senate in exchange for a raft of other concessions.

“We don’t agree with this government on many things, but our responsibility is to the people we serve,“ Greens leader Richard Di Natale said.


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