8 May 2014
The Australian Cane Farmers Association (ACFA) has today expressed their grave concerns over the rumored plan to cut the fuel tax rebate for off-road use in the impending Federal Budget.
Currently, farmers who use fuel in specific off-road vehicles, like harvesters and tractors, are rebated the excise at 38.14 cents per litre, which is intended to cover public road upkeep.
ACFA Chairman, Don Murday, says that it is vitally important that the fuel rebate remain at its current level.
“Energy costs for farmers, including fuel, are a major component of farm inputs; there simply is not the margin to absorb any increase in these costs,” Mr Murday said.
“Every day we hear stories from farmers who are on the brink of their businesses collapsing. These people work so hard to put food on Australian tables and a move like this could bring an end to many family farms.”
Introducing any cuts that increase the input costs for farmers is a far cry from the Government’s plan to build a more diverse five pillar economy.
“Agriculture is meant to one of the Government’s five key pillars in building Australia’s economy; any decision that results in further increases in costs to farmers will be seriously detrimental to this.”
“We are calling on the Federal Government to very carefully consider the implications a cut in this rebate would bring,” Mr Murday concluded.
The 2014-15 Federal Budget is due to be released by The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, on Tuesday 13th May at 7:30 pm AEST.