NSW Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said farmers in regional communities will get more cash back in their pockets with rebates and refunds on heavy vehicle registration after changes to the way registration charges are calculated for primary producers.

Mr Anderson welcomed Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro’s announcement, with changes coming into effect from November 1, 2018.

“This drought has been unprecedented in its severity and the NSW Government has put more than $1 billion on the table for drought measures and assistance,” Mr Anderson said. “Every day I speak with farmers from Walcha to Werris Creek, Boggabri to Barraba, Gunnedah to Bendemeer and from Somerton to Nundle, listening to ideas and suggestions that could help the Nationals in Government provide assistance packages.”

Heavy farm vehicle registrations were a major discussion point among farmers while Mr Anderson was at Gunnedah’s AgQuip and the Tamworth Show recently, where he talked about further drought support.

“In a boost for farmers, the Nationals in Government will provide partial refunds on previous heavy vehicles registration charges going back over three years, saving primary producers an average of $2094,” Mr Anderson said. “Farmers will also receive free registration over the next two years for their heavy vehicles. Governments don’t always have the answers but when we see a good solution we have a responsibility to act, and that is exactly what we have done here.”

NSW Nationals Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said these changes came at a crucial time for farmers in regional areas and complemented the NSW Government’s billion-dollar drought package.

“In recognition of what they do and what they go through, we have always given our farmers a 55 per cent reduction in their registration expenses, saving them an average of $1259 per heavy vehicle.” Mrs Pavey said. “It had come to my attention that these farmers were eligible for an even greater discount. The response was simple, let’s give the money back.I recognise that for farmers struggling right now the refunds will be important to give them some cash flow. Many are feeding stock and water is becoming more expensive, with freight costs quickly piling up. We know what farmers really need is rain, but this initiative goes that little bit further to ease the situation they find themselves in.”

About 14,000 NSW farmers will receive refunds on the amount they overpaid on heavy vehicle regos in the past three years; on average, people will receive a refund of $2121.

The registration rebate will apply to all renewals from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2020. For producers who register their vehicles between July 1 and November 1 this year, the amount will be refunded. Farmers will still have to pay for Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, personalised plates and relevant vehicle checks, for the safety of all road users. Affected customers will be contacted by Roads and Maritime Services from 1 November with the refund amounts. Further information is available at: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/primary-producer-hv-rego.

• Farmers are eligible if they have completed a declaration of eligibility for a registration concession and ticked primary producer (for customers who are establishing registration);
• They are the registered operator of a heavy vehicle (>4.5 tonnes) with usage code PPG or PPGN and,
• The vehicle was registered on or from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020 inclusive.
• The Light or heavy vehicle is used by a primary producer as defined under the Motor Vehicles Taxation Act 1988, and solely or principally for carting primary products or carting goods of any kind for use in a primary producers business or household.