Home' The Great Southern Star : June 15th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - PAGE 41
By Sarah Vella
NEITHER the Federal Government, nor
the opposition will commit to removing
the backpacker tax, which could make
hiring seasonal staff uneconomical for
some South Gippsland businesses.
If implemented on July 1, the proposed tax
would mean working holidaymakers would
be required to pay 32.5 per cent tax from the first
dollar earned rather than having an $18,000 tax-
Andrew Jamieson from Golden Creek Olives
in Fish Creek said they will now look for volun-
teer farm workers through the Willing Workers
on Organic Farms program.
“The tax will make employing backpackers
uneconomical for our business,” he said.
“I think there have been fewer around already.
We have to pay them the award wage, but then
have to take 32.5 per cent tax out of that, which
means it’s not attractive to workers.”
Mr Jamieson said he had heard from one
person who will no longer be
coming to Australia and will be
going to New Zealand instead,
due to the tax.
“All of the backpacker em-
ployees we have had have loved
it here. It was good for Australia’s
reputation,” he said.
“Taxing them more than every-
one else is not good for Australia’s
McMillan Greens candidate
Donna Lancaster said farmers and
tourism operators would be hit
hard by the tax if it remained.
“Right across Gippsland, farm-
ers rely heavily on backpackers
for seasonal work but this tax will
turn many backpackers away,” she
Ms Lancaster worked in the tourism industry
for many years, particularly in the backpacker
“I have seen the effect on the tourism sector
when we had a high Australian dollar and another
drop in tourism numbers due to
this tax will really hurt and lead to
job losses,” she said.
Victorian Farmers Federation
horticulture vice-president Emma
Germano said the tax was a threat
to the agriculture and tourism in-
“Working holiday makers are
a valuable source of short term la-
bour for producers and they bring
billions in revenue to our national
economy,” she said.
Ms Germano said it was un-
acceptable that Labor and the
Coalition did not have clear
“This is a critical issue for
people living in rural areas and
it doesn’t inspire confidence
that so close to the election neither side has
made a clear commitment to scrap the tax,”
“All sides need to step up and commit to
scrapping the tax as an election priority.”
• Greens candidate
Tax hits bottom line
WITH so many vehicles arriving after all
of the rain that has fallen in recent days, it
was muddy underfoot at the Ryan clear-
ing sale at Dumbalk on Friday morning.
Vicki Ryan and her son Will are exiting the
industry and in the short term will move to Le-
Surveying the farm plant, equipment and sun-
dries set out in the farm yard as the auction pro-
ceeded, Will Ryan said, “It all has to go.
“It is the beginning of a new chapter and this is
the fertiliser for the new growth.”
With a degree in agriculture technologies, Mr
Ryan said he was optimistic about the future.
Of particular interest he said are the number of
young people coming forward, stepping up to take
ownership or part ownership of farming properties.
Considering life on the land Mr Ryan said,
“It is the way you perceive the glass but for the
younger generation it is half full, certainly not
Looking around: from left, Margarita Breed
and Mark Traynor have just moved from
Croydon onto a four hectare farm north out-
side Inverloch and were at the Ryan clearing
sale “having a look”.
Right, Upbeat: from left, Shane, five month
old Charlie and his grandfather Adrian, and
Claire Harris at the Ryan clearing sale on
Friday. The Harris family farms at Dumbalk
North and Buffalo.
SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council last
Thursday convened its second meeting
of organisations that work in and around
the region’s dairy industry, in the wake
of milk prices dropping.
The meeting included representatives from
Murray Goulburn, the State Government, Burra
Foods, Rural Family Resources, Rural Financial
Counselling, council and Long Street Family
The group discussed activities being under-
taken to support dairy farmers at the moment and
those planned to be rolled out over the months
The next meeting is scheduled for late July.
For information about dairy industry sup-
port resources in South Gippsland visit council’s
The website has information about financial
and emotional counselling, business help and as-
sistance available from the Department of Human
KEEPING carbon on farms was the
theme of the day when farmers travelled
to a Phillip Island property recently.
As part of the future homes series of events
organised by Bass Coast Landcare Network in
conjunction with Bass Coast Shire Council, the
event was hosted at Bob and Anne Davie’s prop-
erty Bimbadeen, where the goal of having a zero
carbon output was achieved in 2014.
People heard from experts in soil carbon and
agroforestry about how to grow crops for carbon and
how to balance soils for maximum sequestration.
To enquire about upcoming future homes
events, visit www.basscoastlandcare.org.au.
Signatures required: from left, Corban Davis, his mother Andrea and Ed Hanley. With a
day off school, Corban and his mother were signing Mr Hanley’s petition in support of CFA
Going: from left, Will Ryan and his girlfriend Kate Riley. a student nurse based at South
Gippsland Hospital at Foster, at the Ryan clearing sale on Friday.
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