Yesterday’s Federal Budget announcement includes significant spending in areas which may be relevant to Australian Organic Limited’s valued members.
Regional economic development is front and centre, in the form of the Regional Recovery Partnerships Program, Modern Manufacturing Strategy (which includes food and beverage as a specific area of focus), Research and Development Program targeted at regionalisation, the Building Better Regions Fund and Regional Connectivity Program – to improve regional access to the internet, are all welcomed initiatives.
Farm labour can be hard to find at the best of times, and with COVID-19 travel restrictions ongoing, access to labour is now critical. The JobMaker Hiring Credit and relocation grants for workers will hopefully improve the situation.
Healthy rivers and water security are a priority for organic farmers. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program, and Rolling Water Infrastructure Fund may help address the challenges faced.
Maintaining and improving soil carbon levels has been at the core of organic production from the beginning. The King review Technology Co-Investment Fund, Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan, and ongoing commitment to the Future Drought Fund – which specifically allocates support for farmers to implement holistic management – a management approach successfully utilised by many organic livestock producers for decades, will provide further incentives for farmers to increase soil and vegetation carbon levels.
In addition to the regional farming and manufacturing measures, in line with AOL’s focus on maintaining and broadening export market access, the Agricultural Exporters Package – intended to streamline export certification, as well as support for Free Trade Agreements, Simplified Trade Systems, and a simplification of the Export Market Development Grants program – all provide excellent opportunities to further our cause.
“The Budget’s inclusions provide clear evidence of our government’s understanding that regional productivity is vital for the economic future of Australia. This has been highlighted and made clear by the COVID-19 crisis – agricultural productivity in the long term is vital – and that’s what organic farming and manufacturing is all about – long term productivity,” AOL Chairman, Martin Meek said.
To find out more about how the 2020 Federal Budget may affect your business, please see below.
The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) have published a detailed analysis of the Budget measures relevant to farmers, available here www.nff.org.au/media-release/budget-backs-farmers-and-the-bush-to-get-australia-growing/
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) have provided a detailed analysis of measures related to food manufacturers, however this is only available to members. www.afgc.org.au/
KPMG Australia also provide an in-depth analysis, including agribusiness and environment measures, available to the public on their website here www.home.kpmg/au/en/home/insights/2020/10/federal-budget.html?budgetID=19&nocache=true