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Gillard announces Australia flood tax

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a new 12-month tax scheme to help pay for flooding damage.

Gillard said to reporters on Thursday that the one-year tax would aid reconstruction efforts following the worst floods in the country’s living memory. She said that the tax would be levied from the 1st of July onwards on those with incomes of at least AUD $50,000.

The Prime Minister said that the country needed not put off until tomorrow what it was able to do today. She added that those that had been affected by the unprecedented disaster, which has killed more than 30 individuals, wouldn’t be subject to the tax.

It was also announced that the government would provide its own aid and funding for the massive forthcoming reconstruction efforts, whilst the tax is projected to raise around AUD $1.8 billion.

The news comes as Gillard has been accused of poorly handling the ordeal and has been overshadowed by Anna Bligh, the premier of severely affected state of Queensland. The BBC’s Sydney correspondent, Nick Bryant, said that Gillard hopes the new tax scheme and subsequent reconstruction efforts would help to mend her image as the recovery begins.

Large portions of both the states of Victoria and Queensland have been hit hard by the floods. Both states have seen immense damage to private homes as well as to important local agricultural industries.

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