Water and rates price relief for drought-affected Qld farms

5th December 2006The Queensland Government will provide a 50pc rebate on municipal rates for eligible drought-stricken farmers, plus a water rebate on management tariffs for irrigators.

AgForce president Peter Kenny has welcomed the State Government’s move, saying it is a Christmas present that will ease the financial pressures on many farm businesses.

AgForce has strongly lobbied the Beattie Government to provide rebates for farmers who are paying for Part A water tariffs, despite not receiving water, and for producers paying local government rates in Exceptional Circumstances areas.

“The rates rebate is only accessible to those farmers who are currently receiving Centrelink EC relief payments and while AgForce recognises that this means not all farmers in drought areas will be eligible, it is a very positive step by the government,” Mr Kenny said.

“Considering that farmers pay on average between $5000 to $60,000 a year for local government rates, a 50pc rebate will provide much needed relief for families during the festive season.”

Mr Kenny says the rebates will help keep money in rural and regional areas during the Christmas/New Year period, as well as many farm-dependent small business operators who have also been experiencing lean times.

The State Government has announced the following measures:

* A 50pc rebate on 2006-07 and 2007-08 municipal rates for eligible farmers in EC areas who are receiving Centrelink EC relief payments; and

* A rebate of up to 100pc (capped at $10,000 a year) on Part A water tariff rebates in 2006-07 and 2007-08 for supplemented rural irrigators who are receiving 20pc or less of the announced allocation, with the extent of the rebate dependent on current and past water availability.

SOURCE: Queensland Country Life

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