Farmers too devastated to take advantage of drought funding

AGFORCE Queensland has warned some farmers devastated by drought might not be able to take advantage of tax breaks the Federal government has brought forward.

But the organisation supports the decision to make the concessions immediate, rather than having a 2016 start date.

Farmers can now claim tax deductions on water facilities, fodder storage assets and fencing.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Small Business Minister Bruce Billson said farmers had told them they wanted to get on with building fences, dams and fodder storage as soon as possible.

They predicted bringing forward the start date would cost $72 million.

AgForce Queensland general manager, Grant Maudsley (CORRECT), said many of the agricultural body's members were dealing with severe drought.

But he said they supported policies that built resilience for future droughts.

"AgForce also strongly supports the decision to bring forward the initiative so it applies from budget night, while acknowledging that the financial impacts from the current drought will mean many of our members cannot take full advantage of the provisions," Mr Maudsley said.

"These incentives for water and fencing assets to improve the management of livestock and macropod grazing, and to exclude predators, goes towards addressing some of the key environmental issues our members face."

In July the State Government will hand down its budget.

Mr Maudsley said he hoped some of the budget's key priorities would be the removal of stamp duty on intergenerational farm asset transfers and crop insurance.

He also has his fingers crossed the government will allow agistment businesses access to the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme "to deliver better animal welfare and dam desilting".

- APN NEWSDESK


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