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Meanwhile, farmers in NSW will get free rego on their heavy vehicles for the next two years as part of a $113 million drought assistance package.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Wednesday announced the state government will also refund millions of dollars in registration costs to primary producers who’ve been overcharged over the past three years because of an “error”.
Mr Barilaro described the announcement as an “act of goodwill”.
“This is not our money, this is money that we shouldn’t have collected, it is the money of those farmers and those primary producers,” he told reporters in Sydney.
The anomaly that led to the short-changing dates back to 1998. However, Mr Barilaro said the government’s hands were tied when it came to refunding customers that far back.
“Administratively (it’s) very hard to look back over 20 years … those vehicles, those customers, that would be a very difficult process,” he said.
“By legislation, we can only go back three years, that’s why we’ve added to this package the addition of two years free rego.”
Mr Barilaro defended the timing of the announcement insisting it was mere coincidence it came just days out from Saturday’s Wagga Wagga by-election.
“It’s doing the right thing, it’s irrelevant to what’s happening on the weekend,” he said.
Roads and Maritime Services will contact affected farmers from November 1.
The registration rebate will apply from July 2018 to mid-2020.