The Federal Coalition has gained a big win for the forestry industry with agreement by the Federal Government to amend its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) to allow forestry contractors to access the fuel credits scheme.

It is estimated these changes sought and gained by the Coalition will reduce the costs forestry contactors by an average $14,000 per year under the new CPRS legislation.

The Coalition’s Spokesperson on Forestry Richard Colbeck said he listened carefully to the industry on this critical issue and lobbied hard to get the changes to the legislation currently before the Senate.

“Labor’s flawed emissions trading scheme, with forest contracts excluded from the fuel credits scheme, was going to hit the sector hard. Jobs would have been lost in the forestry industry,” Senator Colbeck said.

“But due to strong industry lobbying and the Coalition’s determination to assist forest contractors these CPRS amendments have been offered by the Federal Government.

“While farmers, fishermen and heavy on-road transporters would be included in the fuel credits scheme under the government’s legislation, forest contractors would have been left out.”

Senator Colbeck said the changes to the fuel credits scheme would also greatly reduce the red tape faced by businesses using the scheme.

“Under the original legislation, agriculture, fisheries and on-road transporters would have been eligible for fuel credits, but not forestry contractors working on private roads.

“Businesses working across these sectors would have faced a paperwork nightmare distinguishing between these activities as well as determining which forestry activities took place on private roads and which took place on public roads.

“The amendments gained by the Coalition, with the assistance of the industry, are commonsense.

“I commend the forestry industry, including the National Association of Forestry Industries and other peak bodies for their commitment to this task.”
SENATOR THE HON RICHARD COLBECK Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator for Tasmania