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Cash rebates for rural environmental work.

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Gary Nairn MP Federal Member for Eden-Monaro PO Box 232, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Tollfree NSW 1800 041 539 Ph: (02) 6297 3952 Fax: (02) 6297 5768

Press Release Ref: 673 Published: 17/5/2002 Title: Cash Rebates for Rural Environmental Work

Primary producers will be rewarded with $25 million in cash rebates over five years in a Coalition Budget initiative to support adoption of Environmental Management Systems, Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn, said today.

Mr Nairn said farmers will receive up to 50 per cent of the costs of eligible expenditure, up to a maximum of $3,000, under the Incentives for Environmental Management Systems in Agriculture funded through the Natural Heritage Trust.

“An Environmental Management System provides a framework that can assist farmers to identify and manage their impacts on the environment,” Mr Nairn said.

“The funds will be available to low-income primary producers in the form of a cash rebate.

“Farmers that have done an Environmental Management System training course that meets relevant national competencies will be able to claim the costs of developing an Environmental Management System and of carrying out priority on-ground actions that have been identified.

“The Government is currently developing program guidelines and will announce details of how farmers can access the Environmental Management System rebate following the selection of a service provider.”

Mr Nairn said that once an Environmental Management Systems plan is in place, primary producers will be able to claim the rebate for a variety of activities, including fencing, control of pest animals and weeds, and tree and shrub establishment.

“Rural industries have been working to improve their environmental performance for some time. Industry and Government are working in close partnership to ensure Environmental Management Systems developments in Australia are both practical and relevant to farmer,” Mr Nairn said.

The Government is also considering up to 15 regional pilot projects to encourage primary producers across a range of agri-industries to adopt a common approach to Environmental Management Systems. A key objective of these pilots will be to assess the contribution of Environmental Management Systems in meeting local and regional natural resource outcomes

and market requirements.