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Beneficial legislation for regional and rural Australia



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Media Release John Anderson BENEFICIAL LEGISLATION FOR REGIONAL AND RURAL AUSTRALIA

DPIE98/65A 27th May, 1998

Federal Primary Industries Minister & Deputy National Party leader, John Anderson, said today Parliament this week would deal with three important pieces of legislation for rural and regional Australia.

Mr Anderson said legislation would be introduced to establish Landcare Tax Rebates and the Farm Management Deposits scheme, while debate would continue on the Wheat Marketing Legislation Amendment Bill(199) which gives wheatgrowers control over their industry.

" The Government has set aside $80 million from the Natural Heritage Trust Fund for tax rebates for landcare works of 34 cents in the dollar, effective this financial year, " the Minister said.

The rebate will be available for the same type of expenditures and over the same time frame as the current tax deductions for preventing and treating land degradation (Subdivision 387A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997) and for conserving or conveying water(Subdivision 387B).

" The rebate is limited to taxpayers with taxable incomes of up to $20,7000 a year from primary production, which represents approximately 70% of farmers who because of their low incomes are most in need of assistance to invest in required landcare works.

" The new Farm Management Deposit Scheme will be run by financial institutions and will replace the existing Income Equalisation Deposit Scheme (IEDs) and Farm Management Bonds (FMBs), which have been run by the Department of Primary

Industries & Energy.

" The new FMDs will provide farmers with an effective tax linked savings mechanism that allows them to set aside pre-tax income from the good years to help them better manage their business during downturns and drought.

" Financial institutions will be able to pay interest on all of the deposit which may be up to $300,000 per farmer taxpayer.

" The Wheat Marketing Legislation Amendment Bill (1998) will be debated in the House of Representatives this week.

" This is a tremendous step forward for wheat industry as the bill delivers full grower ownership through the Grower-Corporate Model, " Mr. Anderson said.

Media Contact: Robert Haynes (02)62777520/0419493511

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Tel: (06) 277 7520 Fax: (06) 273 4 120