IFAM flights to Hong Kong departing from Toowoomba & Adelaide now available

IFAM flights to Hong Kong departing from Toowoomba & Adelaide now available

To date, the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) has supported the transport of thousands of tonnes of high-value Australian produce on international supply chains. IFAM is also continuing to facilitate the imports of vital medicines and medical supplies back to Australia.

The IFAM is supporting new outbound flights to Hong Kong, departing from Adelaide and Toowoomba. These flights are rebuilding key routes to a major market for Australian agricultural and fisheries producers.

Current scheduled IFAM flights

The IFAM is currently supporting the following flights:

  • Adelaide to Hong Kong one way – NEW
  • Toowoomba to Hong Kong one way – NEW 
  • Melbourne to Abu Dhabi one way
  • Sydney to Shanghai one way
  • Sydney to Tokyo (Narita) return
  • Brisbane to Singapore return
  • Brisbane to Cairns to Hong Kong return
  • Brisbane to Auckland return
  • Melbourne to Singapore return
  • Melbourne to Hong Kong return
  • Melbourne to Auckland return
  • Adelaide to Singapore one way

Register your interest

Exporters should submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to access IFAM flights. Further information on how IFAM works is available on the IFAM webpage.

Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

Media Release 29 May 2020

  • Delivery date for National Agricultural Workforce Strategy extended to end October 2020
  • Closing date for submissions extended from 1 June to 3 August 2020.
  • Strategy will include contributions made by industry on the impact of COVID-19.

The Australian Government has extended the delivery date for the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy to the end of October 2020 and the closing date for submissions from 1 June to 3 August 2020.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the extension will allow stakeholders sufficient time to contribute to the strategy, and mean stakeholders and government will be in a better position to engage with the strategy when it is delivered.

“The Australian Government has engaged strongly with state and territory governments and industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to help ensure farm businesses have the workforce they need and to keep paths to market for agricultural produce open,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Nevertheless, there is uncertainty about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural supply chains and the expected supply and demand for labour into the future.

“It is important to extend the delivery date and submission period so the strategy can include contributions and observations made by industry on the impact of COVID-19 on the availability of labour.

“This will also include innovative approaches to deal with the agricultural workforce issues that have arisen due to COVID-19.

“I encourage both farm businesses and the public to have your say on the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy to help support the agricultural sector to attract, retain and develop the future agricultural workforce.”

The 2019-20 Budget provided $1.9 million over four years for the development of the strategy.

“The National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee has been consulting with a wide range of stakeholders since March 2020, to inform the development of the strategy to grow Australia’s agricultural workforce now and into the future.

Have your say on the Agricultural Workforce Strategy here: https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/national-agricultural-workforce-strategy

Fast Facts:

  • On 11 December 2019, the Government announced the membership of the National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee.
  • The committee is developing the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy, which will investigate ways to ensure a sustainable future workforce for the sector, and will deliver the strategy to government by the end of October 2020.
Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

Extension of the Queensland Household Resilience Program to Protect Australian Communities

Media Release 21 May 2020

The Australian Government is committed to increasing the resilience of Australian communities to natural hazards, while minimising the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government is working with state and territory governments to protect Australian communities and support local jobs.

Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud said in late 2019, the Australian Government committed $10 million for the extension of the Queensland Household Resilience Program.

“The Program provides assistance to eligible home owners in coastal parts of Queensland to make practical improvements to their homes that can reduce the impacts of cyclones and put downward pressure on insurance premiums,” Minister Littleproud said.

“Insurance companies have previously offered up 20 percent reductions on premiums because of the Program and the National Insurance Brokers Association estimate average savings of $310 a year can be attributed to the Program.

“Local economies benefit from the pipeline of additional home improvement work and this is particularly important to secure employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since announcing our commitment, the Australian Government has been working to secure the Queensland Government agreement to extend the Program.

“The Queensland Government’s recent announcement to extend this important Program is a welcome outcome and signals our shared commitment to deliver outcomes to Australian communities.”

The extension of the Program, made possible by the Australian Government contribution, is the most recent example of the national leadership necessary to address systemic disaster risk combined with practical measures needed to deliver community outcomes on the ground.

It also forms part of a more comprehensive program to protect Australian communities from the impacts of natural hazards that the Australian Government is delivering in partnership with states and territories.

This includes:

  • Development of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (the Framework) which we brought to the Council of Australian Governments for endorsement in March 2020.
  • securing commitment from the states and territories to an inaugural National Action Plan that will be updated each year to ensure Australia remains on-track to realise the outcomes of the Framework;
  • a funding commitment of in the 2019-20 Budget of $130.5 million over five years to fund initiatives to reduce the risk and impact of disasters on Australians in line with the Framework and the negotiation in March 2020 of a matched commitment by states and territories;
  • as part of the Australian Government’s five-year $130.5 million commitment, $5.22 million set aside each year for projects and initiatives of national significance; and
  • ongoing effort to establish a new national capability to ensure people have access to the climate and disaster risk information
Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

Welcome outcome on Wildlife Wet Markets

Media Release 19 May 2020

The Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud is pleased to see the strong international support which he led last month at the G20 to investigate Wildlife Wet Markets as part of the broader review of COVID-19.

Minister Littleproud said his call for the expert review to look into the wildlife wet markets which he lead at the G20 last month will provide a greater understanding of how to prevent another devastating event like COVID-19.

“Since 1980, two pandemics have been linked to wildlife wet markets and a further two linked to unsustainable wildlife practices – this is acknowledgment we need to work globally to protect us from these risks.

“We have long known about the risks associated with wildlife wet markets and the potential for pandemics they pose but they also are a risk to agriculture and food security.” Minister Littleproud said.

“That is why I worked with Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Mark Schipp to push for global reforms underpinned by a scientific review.

“It’s fair to say I was the outlier at that time but with calm and methodical work, the setting up of this scientific review has vindicated our efforts.

“It will take a global effort to reduce the risks for disease to emergence and spread, and the threat to agriculture that the mix of wildlife, domestic animals and humans provide in wildlife wet markets.

“The review will be a joint WHO, OIE, FAO collaboration. Together we can gather information that will contribute to the betterment of all nations.

“Let’s hope the outcomes of the review finds ways to protect human life and the agriculture that underpins global food security.”

Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

Ministers reassure that food is COVID safe

Media Release 7 May 2020

The federal, state and territory agricultural ministers have moved to reassure and reiterate to Australians that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food.

It came as all the ministers met today for a regular meeting of agricultural ministers to discuss how the sector is dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said it was a timely meeting given the concerns around the outbreak of the disease in a Victorian abattoir.

“There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food which is a real comfort for us all and our agricultural sector.” Minister Littleproud said.

“That is the position of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand and other international food regulators.

The Victorian regulatory authority and the Federal Department of Agriculture does not intend to initiate a recall of any product produced at Cedar Meats as the products are safe.

The meeting heard that there was no animal welfare impact because the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services allowed the establishment to remain open to process or transfer all animals in holding yards.

“There was agreement by all state and territory ministers to convene a review of business continuity involving state agriculture, workplace health and safety, health officials and the meat industry.

“And the Commonwealth will be involved too, as it has responsibility around meat exports and certification.

“We will remain agile to the concerns and issues that arise out of COVID-19 to make sure that lives and livelihoods are saved.

“By working together we will get through this and we will make sure Australia’s food security remains among the best in the world.”

Deadline for Ag Workforce Strategy Extended

AgShows provides grants to 122 regional shows

Media Release 8 May 2020

  • $20 million in grants for 122 regional agricultural show societies
  • Funds will be used to upgrade or build new infrastructure on show grounds
  • Grants will also help sustain show societies forced to cancel events

Regional agricultural show societies across Australia will share in $20 million worth of grants to renew and reinvigorate ageing show grounds through the Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants program.

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said the grants would also serve as a much needed cash injection in the wake of recent bushfires and the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Agricultural shows are a major drawcard for our regional towns, many of which have had to cancel events this year due to COVID-19,” Minister Littleproud said.

“These grants will help show societies refurbish their show grounds and facilities, so that when their next event rolls around it will be even more attractive to show goers.

“Ag shows are the heart and soul of our regional communities. They bring and keep communities together, link the country to the city and provide a key boost to these local economies.

“These events showcase the hard work and innovation that goes into producing Australia’s food and fibre.

“Upgrading show facilities means more visitors to these regional events, more local employment, and more tills ringing in local businesses.

“The grants will be used by the successful show societies for a range of infrastructure works, from small-scale upgrades to major overhauls and new builds that will benefit not only the show, but the community throughout the year and in emergency situations as was the case in the recent bushfires.

“The Australian Government wants to see our agricultural shows continue to thrive and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

For successful applicants visit: www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/infrastructure/ag-shows

Fast Facts:

  • There are around 580 agricultural shows across Australia.
  • Agricultural shows contribute around $965 million to the economy each year.
  • Nearly 6 million Australians visit an agricultural show each year.