Guidelines for Selection of Farm Consultants to approve land managment plans for landcare taxation deductions
Under section 40-G of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 primary producers and other rural businesses earning income from the land may be eligible for tax deductions for fencing erected to prevent land degradation. To be eligible, fences must be erected to separate different land classes in accordance with an approved land management plan. Authorised officers of State and Territory land conservation agencies, or farm consultants approved bythe Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, can approve land management plans for the purposes of section 40-G provision. In order to qualify, farm consultants must demonstrate the following:
1. Qualifications, experience and knowledge in relation to land conservation and farm management
- should be agricultural science or natural resource management based; and
- should be of a tertiary nature (diploma, degree or equivalent).
- should comprise at least 3 years as a farm consultant, land conservationist or land management adviser.
- should cover as a minimum an understanding of the principles of both farm management and land conservation.
Note: Demonstrated significant practical experience of at least 5 years in land conservation and land management and participation in relevant training courses may substitute for formal tertiary qualifications.
2. The standing of the person in the professional community
- The farm consultant should be a full member of a professional agricultural, natural resource management or planning association with a code of ethics
- example associations include the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology, Royal Australian Planning Institute, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
- The onus is on the farm consultant to show that the above conditions are adequately met. The names of two professional referees should be supplied when applying for registration.
- Under the Act, the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, or authorised delegate, is responsible for approving, in writing, farm consultants.
- However, persons interested in registering as a farm consultant for land management plan approval purposes should contact, in the first instance, the relevant State or Territory land conservation agency listed below.
- The Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, will maintain a national register of farm consultants authorised to approve land management plans for the purposes of section 387-60 provision. The register will be periodically updated and forwarded to State and Territory agencies and professional societies.