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Diesel rebate helps primary producers move to a cleaner future.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Diesel rebate helps primary producers move to a cleaner future 17 July 2008 DAFF08/086B

Producers in the farming and fishing industries will benefit from a cent-for-cent increase in the diesel rebate announced yesterday by the Rudd Government as part of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the Government recognised the financial pressures placed on producers by the rising price of diesel.

He said the Government would provide a rebate to businesses in the agriculture and fishing sectors to offset the initial price impact on fuel from the introduction of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

For every cent increase in the price of fuel because of the scheme, a rebate equivalent to the cut in fuel excise will be provided to agriculture and fishing businesses. The rebate will be adjusted periodically, with the need for further adjustments to be reviewed after three years.

“The Rudd Government is committed to reducing carbon pollution in the most efficient, economically responsible way,” Mr Burke said.

“We understand the significant financial pressures already faced by many producers in our farming and fishing industries.

“The price of diesel alone has risen rapidly in the last six months, pushed up by global factors influencing supply and demand.

“The rebate will help to offset the price impact from the beginning of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.”

The Government has decided that the earliest agriculture should enter the scheme should be 2015, with a final decision on its inclusion to be made in 2013.

The forestry sector is proposed for inclusion in the initial Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, to commence in 2010, on an opt-in basis.

Mr Burke said consultation would be expanded across the country to discuss the best ways to include agriculture in the scheme in the future.

The Government will hold a series of stakeholder meetings with more than 70 key agriculture, forestry and fishing groups and hold a series of public meetings in regional centres, before the close of submissions on the Green Paper.

“The Green Paper sends a clear signal that agriculture should be included in the scheme, but there is more work to do before we make a final decision on the timing,” Mr Burke said.

“More work needs to be done on the best way to measure emissions and carbon storage accurately in our farm sectors.”

The $130 million Australia’s Farming Future package will fund targeted research for projects that deliver real reductions in emissions from livestock and fertiliser use.