Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Liberals divided over timber tax cuts

A Liberal backbencher says it would devastate the timber industry in his electorate if the Government scrapped tax breaks for managed plantation schemes. There is a push to change the tax advantages for people who invest in timber plantations. However, south-east South Australian Liberal MP Patrick Secker says he will argue in the Coalition party room meeting today the schemes help Australia overcome its $2 billion deficit in timber products and scrapping them would create great harm. "You could say goodbye to a pulp mill, you could say goodbye to any further investment in the blue-gum industry and any long-term thinking by anyone that's thinking about investing in the blue-gum industry," he said. "It would be an absolute disaster for that industry and for the timber industry in general." However, southern Victorian Liberal whip Stewart McArthur says the schemes are not achieving the Government's main aim of boosting the plantation industries.

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