The Commonwealth Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is an investment in our farmers and our competitive strengths in agriculture.
For the past 18 months the federal Nationals in government have listened to the challenges that primary producers are facing and discussed what is required for them to be successful on the land. From this feedback, the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has been developed.
The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper outlines the initiatives and commitments by the Australian Government including details on the $4 billion investment to the sector. It builds a more profitable, resilient and sustainable vision for our primary producers, helping to drive a stronger Australian economy.
The paper has five key priority areas:
- A fairer go for farm business, helping farmers achieve a better return, including:
- Fairer competition, with an $11.4 million to boost Australian Competition and Consumer Commission engagement with the agricultural sector including a new Commissioner dedicated to agriculture
- Reducing red tape, making business easier for farmers, such as improved country of origin labelling, which will let consumers know where food is grown and processed
- A better tax system for farm businesses
- Building 21st century water, transport and communications infrastructure, including:
- A National Water Infrastructure Development fund with $500 million for water infrastructure
- Strengthening our approach to drought and risk management, including measures for preparing for drought and in-drought support, such as:
- Funding for farm insurance advice and risk assessment grants
- $333 million for immediate in-drought relief
- $880,000 to increase the service hours of the Rural Financial Counselling Service
- A new concessional loans scheme has been created for drought-affected farmers
- A smarter approach to farming by supplying the most advanced technologies and practices, including:
- $100 million investment for management of pests, disease and weeds
- An additional $100 million will be invested in rural Research and Development
- Access to premium markets to improve international trade, including measures such as:
- $200 million in funding for biosecurity surveillance and analysis
- $30.8 million has been allocated to breaking down technical barriers in trade and appointing five new Agricultural Counsellors.
You can find more information about the White Paper here.