AGFORCE Queensland has today called for an urgent review of regional tax zones to better incentivise rural and regional growth as part of its ongoing ‘30 Issues, 30 Days’ initiative.
Regional zones have long been a component of the Australian taxation system, however under the current framework there is little differentiation between areas offering comprehensive services and income opportunity with more isolated and less resourced parts of the state. For example Townsville, which has experienced considerable population growth and is major regional centre attracts similar tax benefits to Charleville which is experiencing population decline and economic pressure.
AgForce Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Charles Burke, said a review of zones was needed to ensure rural and regional communities can attract families, investment and business.
“One of the problems we are seeing with regional tax zones is the fact they have not been updated for a long time and certainly the system and the model is in need of an overhaul,” Mr Burke said.
“In parts of the state which are further removed from large cities and regional centres the cost of living is much greater and the services provided are less so people in these regions end up paying for a much higher cost of living.
“These rural and regional communities are vital to them having the ability service the agricultural industries which rely upon these towns and the provision of quality health and education services to all Queenslanders.”
“It is imperative we have changes to the existing model which are reflective of modern society and will give benefit to rural and regional areas through financial incentives and associated economic stimulus.”
Source: AgForce Queensland