Government White Paper backs agriculture

08 July 2015

The Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released on the weekend, contains a range of initiatives which are intended to boost the profitability and competitiveness of the Australian farming sector.

The five priority areas in the White Paper are:

  • a fairer go for farm businesses
  • building the infrastructure of the 21st century
  • strengthening the approach to drought and risk management
  • farming smarter
  • accessing premium markets.

MLA currently invests in some of the initiatives described in the White Paper – including the National Wild Dog Action Plan and CSIRO’s TRAnsport Network Strategic Investment Tool (TRANSIT) to analyse freight flows to identify transport bottlenecks.    

Other initiatives announced in the White Paper related to MLA and other Rural Development Corporations include:

  • $100 million extension of the Rural R&D for Profit Programme to 2021–22 to get research onto the farm. MLA has already received two grants from this Programme that will focus on maximising the long-lasting benefits of weed biological control, as well as identifying market and consumer insights to drive value chain innovation and growth in export markets.
  • $1.4 million research boost to match industry levies and contributions in the export fodder and tea tree oil industries.
  • $1.2 million to the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation for small industries.
  • New RD&E priorities to direct levy funds to areas that will improve farm gate returns. 
  • Reduce RDC administration costs to leave more money for RD&E.
  • $50 million to boost Australia’s emergency pest and disease eradication capability.
  • $50 million to give farmers better tools and control methods against pest animals and weeds.
  • $30.8 million​ to break down technical barriers to trade and appointing five new Agriculture Counsellors.
  • $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally, including in northern Australia. 
  • $12.4 million to modernise Australia’s food export traceability systems to further enhance our food safety credentials.

The Australian Government has established a website for the White Paper.

 

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