Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has accused the Palaszczuk Government of rank hypocrisy over the issue of the ‘backpacker tax’ during a debate in the Queensland Parliament last week.
Mr Cripps blasted a motion moved by Labor against the backpacker tax as an ‘opportunistic stunt’, given Labor’s track record of disastrous policies damaging agriculture and tourism.
“I won’t pretend the backpacker tax is not a bad tax for regional Queensland – it is – but I will not be lectured to about regional issues by the likes of the Palaszczuk Government” said Mr Cripps.
“The backpacker tax is bad for the agricultural sector, the tourism sector, regional communities and it is a bad tax for my electorate of Hinchinbrook, which benefits from backpackers” he said.
“However, the gall of Labor to pretend that it is interested in regional communities is too much to stomach – the Palaszczuk Government has proven itself to be the enemy of the regions”.
“Just last week it slipped out that the Palaszczuk Government was considering a state based carbon tax that would cripple irrigated agriculture – meaning no jobs for backpackers”.
Mr Cripps said Labor had bills before the Queensland Parliament to take away access to water for agriculture and to overturn the LNP’s reforms to the vegetation management framework.
“You can’t create new jobs in the agriculture sector for anyone, let alone backpackers, if you are closing Queensland’s agricultural sector down – you don’t have to be a genius to work that out”.
“Labor has been doing no favours for tourism in Queensland’s regions by introducing lockout laws and reduced trading hours – cutting jobs for backpackers in the hospitality industry”.
“Last week, the Palaszczuk Government passed legislation to reduce opportunities for eco-tourism in protected areas, where backpackers go for amazing outdoor experiences”.
“Finally, while we are trying to attract people to come to Queensland, including backpackers, Labor is running the mother of all scare campaigns about the future of the Barrier Reef”.
Mr Cripps said backpackers would never pay the higher marginal rate of income tax in Queensland if the Palaszczuk Government destroyed the tourism and agriculture sectors first.