Amended backpacker tax passes through the Senate

After months of discussion, the controversial backpacker tax passed through the Senate on Thursday, with amendments made by Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie. 

With just one week left of Federal Parliament for the year and after months of discussion, the tax was hotly debated – but it is not over yet.

The package of bills was originally introduced to call for a 32.5 per cent tax for backpackers, but this was then reduced to 19 per cent. 

Senator Lambie then led the charge to see the tax lowered further to 10.5 per cent, set to take effect from January 1 next year. 

Labor and the Greens were among the parties who voted for the lower tax rate, with the Senate voting 37-30 to lower it.

This means the amended bill was sent back to the House of Representatives to be debated further. 

Still in the lower house, question time saw the backpacker tax debate continue, with the Coalition continuing to support the 19 per cent tax. 

If the rate does not pass, it would default back to 32.5 per cent.