AUSVEG has welcomed the formal announcement of the Australian Government’s review of the backpacker tax, with the leading horticultural body calling on the Government to provide a satisfactory response to wide-ranging industry concerns.

The backpacker tax, which would tax working holiday makers at a rate of 32.5 per cent from the first dollar earned, has been met with widespread condemnation from Australian industries who need backpackers to meet their labour requirements in the face of domestic labour shortages.

“Vegetable growers rely on backpackers as a source of labour, especially during peak seasonal periods, and the backpacker tax threatens to act as a major disincentive to these workers coming out to Australia,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Mr Jordan Brooke-Barnett.

“AUSVEG will be contributing to the review to ensure that the voices of Australian vegetable growers are heard by the Australian Government.”

AUSVEG is the national body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable growers and has publicly campaigned against the introduction of the backpacker tax, warning that it could have a crippling impact on the vegetable industry if backpackers are deterred from choosing Australia as a destination for working holidays.

“We’re pleased that the Government has finally commenced this review, and we hope that they listen to the concerns of every industry that relies on this critical labour source over the coming weeks,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

“It would be incredibly disappointing to see Australia’s growers suffer as a result of a short-sighted policy decision that failed to acknowledge the flow-on effects of having backpackers live and work in regional Australia.”

“We’d like to see this review result in a sensible solution that acknowledges the vital role that backpackers play in the vegetable industry, as well as in many other industries, and avoids damaging regional economies.”


MEDIA CONTACT:  Jordan Brooke-Barnett, AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0404 772 038, Email: