Local, Independant and Effective
September 28, 2016

Government must treat rural and regional Australia better: McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the change of heart on the Backpacker Tax and says the Government should learn from its mistake.

Ms McGowan called on the Government to commit to conducting extensive research before making decisions that impact rural and regional Australia.

“The government could get its policies right the first time if it consulted relevant industries and engaged with rural and regional communities before making uninformed decisions,” Ms McGowan said.

“This would save considerable time and expense for those people affected.”

Ms McGowan said it had taken a 16-month campaign from the agriculture and tourism industries to settle the Backpacker Tax issue.

“The outcome was good, but rural and regional people should not have been put through the rigmarole, expense and stress of having a tax that was clearly damaging hanging over their heads for so long,” she said.

It’s a pattern Ms McGowan is calling on the government to change.

“Proposed changes to childcare is another example of this ‘act first and think later’ mentality,” she said.

“I also call on the Government to do its research and modelling, to understand implications for rural and regional Australia and manage unintended consequences, thoroughly before the 2016-17 budget.

“One size does not necessarily fit all circumstances.

“Rural and regional people deserve better and the constituents of Indi do as well.”

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