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Greens call on Nats to cross the floor in the House to support the lower backpacker tax

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson welcomes the passage of the amended backpacker tax at a lower tax rate of 10.5% through the Senate today. He calls upon National Party backbenchers to take a stand for their communities and cross the floor next week to support the lower rate.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “It’s a simple test for the Nats next week. Do they want to maintain Australia’s competitive advantage when it comes to agricultural production or not?

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If someone else was Agriculture Minister would the backpacker tax have been fixed by now?

Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens Treasury spokesperson, provides the following comments about the government’s ongoing backpacker tax saga.

“Yesterday Barnaby was talking bulldust on the backpacker tax start date, today he’s playing the xenophobia card about foreign workers undercutting Australian jobs. He’s gone from spreading misinformation to ungrounded fearmongering.

“You have to wonder if government would have done better if anyone other than Barnaby was the agriculture minister. If Richard Colbeck was still around then I am sure this would have been killed two years ago.

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RIP Barnaby's backpacker tax

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, announces the Greens position on the Government’s backpacker tax Bill.

Senator Whish-Wilson said “The Greens want backpackers to be taxed at the same rate as residents. However, we will support the cross-bench amendment to reduce the government’s 19% rate to 10.5%. With the Greens and Labor support of this amendment, the Bill will likely return to the House at a lower rate and the Government has said they will kill it.

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Government’s problems with the backpacker tax are all of its own making

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following response to the government’s increasingly desperate attempts to save itself from self-imposed humiliation on its backpacker tax.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The spree of media releases from the government and agencies yesterday shows that they are making it up as they go along with the backpacker tax; desperately trying to shift the blame to anyone but themselves over the farce that they created.

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Australia needs an Agriculture Minister that specialises in agriculture, not secrecy.

Australia needs an Agriculture Minister that specialises in agriculture, not secrecy.

The Greens say recent revelations about Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce spending tens of thousands of dollars to hide a letter add to his refusal to release a cost-benefit analysis for moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and raise serious questions about his integrity.

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Planned move would gut Pesticides Agency of organisational knowledge

With nearly three-quarters of scientists at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) saying they are not willing to move from Canberra to Barnaby Joyce’s electorate of New England, the Greens have called on the government to ditch the plan.

“The Agriculture Minister’s proposal has been a prime example of a failure of consultation with staff, stakeholders and the community in general,” said the Australian Greens Agriculture spokesperson Senator Janet Rice.

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What has Deputy PM got to hide on pesticides agency move?

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has refused a Senate request to make public the cost-benefit analysis for moving the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his own electorate of New England.

“Mr Joyce wants to uproot the lives of nearly 200 staff and their families without proving it is worth the expense,” said the Greens agriculture spokesperson Senator Janet Rice, who moved the motion for the order of production of documents in the Senate.

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