House debates

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Statements by Members

Working Holiday Maker Program

1:53 pm

Andrew Gee (Calare, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I wish to thank all of our local orchardists from the Calare electorate, who have worked so hard to find a resolution to the backpacker tax issue. They always lead the state and nation in advocating for our region and this vitally important industry. They have been actively engaged in this issue from the very beginning. Indeed, last week a delegation came to this very parliament to urge all parties to find a resolution before the summer harvest. They were Bruce Reynolds, Daniel McClymont and Peter West. While they were here, we also used the opportunity to lobby for greater access for our fruit to foreign markets and to get some progress on the vexed issue of export protocols. In addition to those three gentlemen, other local orchardists heavily engaged with the backpacker tax issue include Bernard and Fiona Hall, who operate an orchard, a world-class packing operation and a burgeoning export business; irrepressible rural advocate and local media star Guy Gaeta and his wife, Sim; Tim and Jayne West; Michael and Kim Cunial; Jamie and Nina McClymont; Zac and Thelma Rossi—and this House wishes Zac a speedy recover from his recent ill health; and also David Gartrell, an apple grower and chair of Appledale Processors Co-operative in Orange for over 30 years.

I have spoken to our local orchardists and they are very happy with the 15 per cent tax rate. They are happy that this government has been able to find a compromise on the issue and they thank all parties for their goodwill and endeavours in finding a resolution. Now it is a case of getting on with harvesting our wonderful local produce, which is the envy of the world. Our local orchardists have— (Time expired)