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Farmers urge deal on backpacker tax

AAP logoAAP 1/12/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson says her members still support a backpacker tax within a range of 15 to 19 per cent, but will back whatever rate the parliament settles on.

The government has shifted its position on the tax to 15 per cent in a bid to gain crossbench support, but is still one vote short in the Senate.

The bill won't go back to the Senate until a majority can be guaranteed.

Labor, the Greens and some crossbenchers are backing a compromise rate of 13 per cent, having previously supported 10.5 per cent.

Ms Simson told AAP in Canberra on Thursday she had visited the offices of many politician in Parliament House and "everybody is pretty entrenched" on their different rates.

"Half of them support 13 and half support 15," she said.

"What we don't want it to be is (the default rate of) 32.5. We urge all of parliament to work together to find a rate that is internationally competitive, fair and equitable."

Asked whether she would back a 13 per cent rate, she said: "We certainly don't support anything above our rate. If it's below our rate, if parliament can agree on that, we will agree with what parliament says."

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