Farmers Fear Impacts Of Federal ‘ute Tax’

Australia’s peak farm body has today called for amendments to proposed vehicle emissions standards – warning the Government’s preferred policy could lump farmers with impacts such as price increases.

NFF President David Jochinke said farmers could be penalised for not having low emissions vehicle options available.

“We’re working hard as a sector to lower our emissions, and we’re all for more efficient low-emissions vehicles,” Mr Jochinke said.

“The fact is there is currently no substitute for the internal combustion utes we currently rely on – not when you consider demands like towing capacity and all-day range,” Mr Jochinke said.

While the proposed regime would not tax farmers directly, the NFF submission points to the public stance from manufacturers including Toyota, who say they would be forced to pass on increased costs.

Farmers are now calling for a revamp of the proposed policy to carve out farm utes from the penalty regime.

“There is no point trying to tax us into choosing lower emissions vehicles when those alternatives don’t exist,” Mr Jochinke said.

“We know the supply chain for vehicles entering Australia is compromised, so even when alternatives become available it’ll take longer still before we see them in dealerships.

“The Government needs to take its foot off the accelerator and carve out primary production vehicles until the market matures and current performance expectations can be met in an economically and environmentally efficient manner.

“Otherwise, this is nothing but a tax on the tools farmers need to do their job.

“We’ll keep working through the process which is currently still in consultation to ensure the Government understands farmers’ point of view on this,” Mr Jochinke concluded.

To view the NFF’s full submission, click here.

/Public Release. View in full here.