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Abare's latest rural forecast

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Media Release For further Information: Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Telephone: 06/2774193 Facsimile: 06/2772053


The Federal Coalition has vowed to build on ABARE's brighter outlook for the agricultural industries with a tax reform package that will deliver substantial cost savings to producers.

Federal National Party Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd, said the latest forecasts by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) held out hope of a moderate recovery for beleaguered farmers.

Mr Lloyd said this recovery would be bolstered by the Federal Labor Government implementing the indirect tax reforms proposed in "Fightback!".

He said even the Federal Treasury estimated farm costs would be slashed by more than $1025 million under the Coalition's plans through the abolition of fuel excise, wholesale sales tax and payroll tax and introduction of the Goods and Services Tax.

This was worth more than $8100 a year to the average farmer.

Mr Lloyd said ABARE's "Agriculture and Resources Quarterly" forecast average farm cash income for broadacre farms would be about $24,600 in 1992-93, 19 per cent more than this year, but still resulting in an average loss of $27,500.

He said the major factors expected to contribute to this mild improvement in the bottom line for farmers were higher wool prices and increased grain production after the recent drought.

Commodity prices generally were forecast to rise by about two per cent, while farm costs are forecast to rise by three per cent, leading to a further erosion in farmers' terms of trade. Farm costs would be higher if farmers were able to adequately maintain on-farm investment.

Overall, the net value of farm production would rise by about $1.7 billion, which was a big step forward from the record low $723 million predicted for this year.

Mr Lloyd said the picture being painted by ABARE was one of modest recovery at best and this would put further pressure on the Labor Government to act to reduce farmers' costs.

"The dramatic reduction in costs that will flow from the Coalition's policies is just the tonic needed to return thousands of Australian farmers to viability." ,

32/92 24/3/92 |

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