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Gavin King

TropicNow editor

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Backpacker tax set to be shelved

The Turnbull Government has listened to the tourism and agricultural industries by shelving its controversial backpacker's tax.


The controversial backpacker tax has officially been shelved in a major win for the tropical north's tourism and agricultural sectors.

In a major backdown, the Turnbull Government will today announce it will not go ahead with the backpacker tax as planned on July 1.

Instead the levy will be delayed and reviewed, with predictions the concept will be dumped altogether by year's end.

The tax proposal was announced last year and was targeted at foreign backpackers on working holidays by forcing them to start paying 32.5 cents tax from the first dollar they earn.

Currently they can earn up to $18,200 without paying any tax. According to reports, working holiday visa applications have fallen 5 per cent since the plan was announced.

But the agricultural industry in particular railed against the proposal, saying it would cause significant labour shortages.

In response to the concerns, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer is expected to announce the tax is being delayed and reviewed after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday foreshadowed the move while talking to punters on the campaign trail in Darwin.

When asked by a local resident about the tax, Mr Turnbull replied: "We're certainly very alert to it…just watch this space."