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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment


2 July 1998

Farmers in Western Queensland undertaking landcare projects will gain substantial tax rebates through new provisions made under the Natural Heritage Trust.

Senator Ian Macdonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment welcomed this weeks passing of legislation to implement the Government's new landcare tax rebate for landcare works and facilities for water conservation and conveyance.

"The landcare tax rebate of 34 cents in the dollar recognises the efforts of Western Queensland farmers who are involved in the local landcare movement.

"The rebate available to about 70 per cent of Australian's farmers so they can invest in the crucial works necessary for sustainable land and water management.

"The Governments action will help reinforce landcare activities as an important and regular part of farm management and continue the culture change to sustainable natural resource management that the landcare movement has worked so hard to achieve.

"The rebate will encourage farmers to regularly invest in landcare as a normal part of farm business, both in good years and in years when their incomes are low," Senator Macdonald said.

Primary producers and business using rural land can claim the rebate for works such as fencing to exclude animals from an area affected by land degradation, levee or contour banks to control soil erosion, drainage works and tree planting to control salinity or drainage, and the eradication of plant or animal pests.

Primary producers can also claim the rebate for investing in facilities such as water storage tanks and dams, tank stands, bores, wells, irrigation channels, pipes and pumps, and water towers and windmills.

The arrangement for claiming the new rebate are not included in the 1997-98 Tax Pack, but the ATO will make special arrangements so the rebate can be claimed by eligible taxpayers for eligible expenditures made from the start of the 1997-98 year.

Farmers who do not have sufficient tax liability in a year to use the whole of the rebate will be able to carry forward the unused portion to future years when they may have sufficient tax liabilities.

Farmers will have the choice between claiming a tax deduction for landcare or the new tax rebate, while others who do not qualify for the rebate will still be able to claim the existing deductions.

2 July 1998

For further details contact Philip Connole 02 6277 3665 or 0417 063 605

Commonwealth of Australia