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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 13

Mr ANDERSON —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy. Can the minister confirm that today's increase in fuel excise will cost, according to Treasury, some additional $26 million for the farm sector, $6 million for the mining sector, $9 million for forestry industries and $23 million for the food processing sector? Why is the government slugging these industries so heavily when the majority of their fuel usage is diesel, which is not a leaded fuel?

Dr Hewson —How are you going in this Ministry?

Mr BEDDALL —Very well; much better than you are, actually. I thank the honourable member for his question. I will endeavour to respond on behalf of the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy. The one thing the honourable member has forgotten about diesel fuel is that the primary industry sector gets the diesel fuel rebate. The rebate in this case would be $440 million.

  In the mining industry, which is important to my Resources portfolio, the rebate will be some $551 million. That is, 70 per cent of the total increase in the cost of the farm diesel fuel excise is rebatable. Plainly this has not had the impact that the honourable member indicates.

Mr Keating —Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper and we will see whether the Leader of the Opposition is still here tomorrow morning.