AUSTRALIA - The Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA) is strongly opposed to any suggestion of tax increases for professional fishers as rumoured to be proposed through removal of the primary producers rebate for use of diesel fuel, under the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme.
Under the Scheme, the Government provides a rebate of the excise and customs duty paid on diesel fuel used by primary producers, including professional fishers.
In the CFA's Election Statement Policy to the Coalition, strong support was given for the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme to be maintained, in order to provide Australian fishers with access to world equivalent prices for fuel. Diesel fuel is a vital to the fishing industry and can comprise of up to 40 per cent of the total operating costs (depending on the fishery) for Australian fishing businesses.
CFA Chair, Anthony Ciconte said the Australian seafood industry provides fresh seafood to Australian and international consumers, contributes to the Australian economy, and the Government rather than hindering the industry should support ways to reduce costs and make fishing more competitive.
"Any move by the Coalition Government to cut the fuel rebate would go against their election commitments. The maintenance of the fuel tax credit scheme for fishing industry use is important for Australian professional fishers as primary producers of seafood."
"Even a minor cut will have substantial effects on the fishing industry and businesses, and would severely threaten the economic viability of many fishing operations," Mr Ciconte said.
CFA are supporting the agriculture sector to maintain all Australian food producing sectors' competitiveness.
TheFishSite News Desk