Budget securing Australia’s recovery with better deal for farmers

11 May 2021

•    Significant investment confirms the Australian Government is backing the agricultural industry to reach its ambitious goal of $100 billion by 2030
•    $400.1 million will be invested in biosecurity to build a more secure and resilient Australia and maintain our clean and green reputation
•    The government is also delivering on recommendations from the Bushfire Royal Commission

The Morrison-McCormack Government is backing Australian farmers to help secure Australia’s recovery, committing around $850.0 million in funding to drive competitiveness, growth and resilience in agriculture and back-in the industry’s goal of $100 billion by 2030.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the initiatives announced in the 2021-22 Budget align with the themes identified through the Government’s Delivering Ag2030 plan, including:

•    $400.1 million to strengthen biosecurity;
•    $32.1 million to extend opportunities to reward farmers for the stewardship of their land; 
•    $29.8 million to grow the agricultural workforce; 
•    $15.0 million to improve trade and market access; and
•    $129.8 million to deliver a National Soils Strategy.

“Agriculture continues to drive our nation’s economic comeback and secure our recovery by getting Australians back into jobs and strengthening the regions. Despite the challenges of drought, COVID-19, fire and floods, the agricultural sector is expected to reach a record $66 billion in production in 2020-21,” said Minister Littleproud. 

“Investment being made in priority areas, particularly biosecurity, will give our farmers, fishers and foresters the confidence to invest and take advantage of opportunities going forward.”

“Our $400.1 million biosecurity investment in this budget comes on top of the Government’s record spending on biosecurity and export services, $888.2 million in 2020-21. This funding will boost our frontline people and resources, strengthen our partnerships with industry and the community, and modernise our ICT systems, technology and data analytics to better target risk and speed up clearance times.”

“A strong biosecurity system protects our production base and preserves Australia’s clean and green reputation, delivering premium export prices and better returns for growers. 

“For example, this package includes $58.6 million to continue efforts to address the risk of an African swine fever outbreak, which Australian Pork Ltd estimates could cause economic losses over 5 years of over $2.0 billion. 

“The Budget delivers further opportunities for farmers to diversify and boost farm income, and be rewarded for the management of their land. A $32.1 million investment in biodiversity stewardship will deliver on-ground trials, implement the Biodiversity Certification Scheme and deliver a trading platform to bring buyers and sellers together. 

“Through targeted investments across the Ag2030 themes, the Australian Government is backing our farmers, fishers and foresters and the regional communities they support. Our focus continues to be on giving them the tools and resources to take advantage of opportunities and achieve their goals. 

“This Budget delivers outcomes for primary producers and gives them the protection and assistance they need to do what they do best – grow the finest produce in the world, feed Australians and export to the world.”

Minister Littleproud said that this Budget also provides funding to respond to recommendations from the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements and transform our federal emergency management architecture.

“In just six months following the Bushfire Royal Commission’s final report, and with these budget measures, the federal government has delivered on 8 of the 14 Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendations for which we are responsible.”

2021-22 Budget initiatives include:

$15.0 million to support technical market access and increase Australia’s influence over global trade rules 

$9.0 million to improve access to safe and effective agricultural and veterinary chemicals
$84.1 million for a range of measures to invest in our critical frontline biosecurity personnel and resources 

$80.9 million for a range of measures to modernise our biosecurity ICT systems, employ new technologies at the border and improve data analytics for intelligence gathering

$235.1 million for a range of measures to strengthen the Government’s biosecurity partnerships with importers, companies, producers and the community. This includes $29.1 million to support communities to manage established pest animals and weeds

$32.1 million to expand the Biodiversity Stewardship Package 

$129.8 million toward a National Soils Strategy Package

$67.0 million to improve the handling of organic waste

$5.4 million to fund projects that improve market transparency in the perishable agriculture goods industry, in response to the Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry by the ACCC

$1.5 million for Agricultural Innovation Australia to develop investment strategies for four new National Agricultural Innovation Priorities 

$11.9 million to support innovation in the forestry sector, including extending the existing nine Regional Forestry Hubs and creating two new Hubs, and undertaking a feasibility study to build on the work of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation

$0.9 million to extend and broaden the Tuna Champions program

$25.2 million to attract Australian workers to modern agriculture, particularly school leavers and young people

$4.6 million to build workforce management and planning skills for agricultural employers 

$0.8 million for the Regional Investment Corporation to administer $37.5 million in existing loan funding for Plantation Development Concessional Loans, delivering on the government’s election commitment

An additional $5.0 million in 2021-22 to deliver the Rural Financial Counselling Service to farmers in hardship

$3.5 million to extend the Drought Communities Small Business Pilot Program for 6 months to continue to provide free financial counselling to small businesses in rural and regional Australia doing it tough

$14.7 million to waive repayment of Business Income Reconciliation debts accrued under the Farm Household Allowance (FHA), in line with recommendations of the 2018 independent review of the FHA

$170.5 million through the Future Drought Fund, which provides a sustained investment of $100 million each year to build drought preparedness. This funding will deliver a range of programs and activities to support the long-term drought resilience and preparedness of primary producers, rural and regional communities

$61.1 million to establish the National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA) – for more information visit www.recovery.gov.au

$615.5 million over the next six years for the mitigation focused Preparing Australia grants program

$92.1 million to enhance Emergency Management Australia’s (EMA) disaster preparedness and response capabilities, comprising of a Common Operating Picture for near real-time situational awareness, designing a National Messaging System, and a national emergency management exercise capability

$209.7 million to establish and operate the Australian Climate Service to support the climate and disaster risk information needs of our emergency management agencies EMA and the NRRA

Australian farmers are the backbone of our economy and with significant investment in the 2021-22 Budget, the Government is helping secure the sector and Australia’s recovery.

For information on the 2021-22 Budget visit www.awe.gov.au/budget