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Regions fuelled by energy reforms.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of The Nationals

15 June 2004 A64/2004


Businesses and communities in regional Australia will benefit significantly from the reforms announced today in the Energy Statement, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson.

"These reforms will benefit existing regional businesses industries, open new business opportunities and help families and communities in remote regions that are not connected to the electricity power grid," Mr Anderson said.

"Abolishing the excise on burner fuels such as kerosene and heating oil could benefit as many as 90,000 households, many in regional areas.

"Providing a full excise credit on all fuel used off-road for businesses purposes, to be phased in from 2008, will be a boon for the quarrying industry, the construction industry and local governments. It will also be widely welcomed by farmers and other primary producers who already receive rebates as it will remove a lot of complexities and grey areas in the existing claim system.

"When all the measures are in place, all small businesses in regional areas will benefit from greater access for excise credits, and a much more simple and straightforward system of claiming credits through their BAS returns."

Mr Anderson said the package would also help generate new businesses and employment opportunities in regional and remote areas.

"The package confirms the measures we have in place to support the production of alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel, with production plants in several regions now in the final planning stages.

"But regional communities are also looking at the potential for the renewable energy sector to provide businesses opportunities.

"The funding support in this package for renewable energy research, development, and commercialisation, provides real encouragement for regional businesses to investigate these opportunities."

Mr Anderson added that increasing the value of pre-appraisal deductions under the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax from 100 percent to 150 percent for designated frontier areas would foster increased exploration and investment in remote areas.

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Media Contacts

Paul Chamberlin ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 02 6277 7680