National Farmers' Federation

Budget lays groundwork for Ag White Paper

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President, Brent Finlay, said tonight’s Federal Budget has farmers all over Australia eagerly anticipating the release of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
The Budget delivers modest gains for the farm sector through specific initiatives that will assist cash flow on farm; lower business taxes; boost bilateral trade agreement outcomes and recognise challenging seasonal conditions facing parts of the sector.
Mr Finlay said the agriculture portfolio largely held its ground, with funding of around $2 billion, despite an expected decrease in the Government’s tax receipts of some $14 billion.
“This recognises that the agriculture sector is a source of economic strength, linked to growing appetites for safe, clean and sustainable Aussie produce in key Asian markets,” Mr Finlay said.
“The measures announced tonight on trade, tax breaks and small business measures will be welcome news for Australian farmers.”
Key announcements for the agriculture sector include:
– Specific measures that will allow farmers to accelerate depreciation for spending on water, fodder and fencing which will encourage investment and improve cash flow on farm.
– $25 million to help Australian producers access the benefits of free trade agreements, an initiative called for by the NFF.
– Small business tax cuts which will assist more than 110,000 farm businesses that have less than $2 million in cash receipts.
– $83 million for pre-announced drought funding for rural communities and pest and weed control.
“We hope that tonight’s budget is a preview of policies and significant funding commitments for tangible initiatives to support agricultural competitiveness and growth,” Mr Finlay said.
“All eyes will now be on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and the Northern Australia White Paper. Together, these policies will be the measure of this Government’s commitment to, and vision for, the success of the agriculture sector.”

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