Smith’s in the zone

Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
WA Senator Dean Smith.
Camera IconWA Senator Dean Smith. Credit: The Sunday Times

WA Senator Dean Smith, pictured, has backed calls from the Broome community to retain the zone tax offset that was recently mooted to be scrapped.

The Broome Advertiser reported last month the Productivity Commission had recommended the Commonwealth Government abolish the allowance claimed by hundreds of thousands of regional Australians each year in its draft Remote Area Tax Concessions and Payments report.

The reported stated there was “no compelling justification” for it in the nation and that higher living costs should not warrant compensation from other taxpayers.

Residents in Broome, Derby and Kununurra can currently claim $338 when lodging their tax returns, with those living in remote communities, such as Halls Creek, able to add more than $1000 to their annual budget.

Business leaders and owners in Broome spoke out against the draft recommendation, believing the total should be increased, rather than abolished.

In a letter to the Broome Advertiser, Mr Smith said he supported the views raised by members of the Kimberley town.

He encouraged residents, businesses and local Shires to make “strong forthright submissions” against the recommendation.

Submissions on the draft report to the commission close at end of business Friday.

They can be filed at pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/remote-tax/make-submission#lodge.

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