A great aspect of last week’s Beef Australia 2018 in Rockhampton was the energy and enthusiasm of the emerging next generation of young beef producers looking to get a start and make their mark in the beef industry.
The issue of family farm succession was certainly a hot topic of conversation at a number of the seminars and events held as well as the inquiry we received at our trade stand especially in relation to QRIDA’s Farm Management Grants.
These grants provide rebates of up to $2,500 per person, per financial year toward the cost of professional succession planning advice. Figures released last week show that QRIDA has approved some 500 applications for $835,000 in the first 12 months of the Farm Management Grants scheme.
Just over 52 per cent of approvals went to Queensland beef producers and their families followed by cropping and sugar industries. Accountants were a popular source of succession planning advice at 45 percent of all approved applications followed by lawyers and business advisors.
Interestingly, the average age of primary producer parents accessing the rebate has been 63 years and the average age of the family members has been 42 years, highlighting that many Queensland farming families are tackling succession planning about the right time to allow the next generation the best opportunity to get ahead.
The Queensland Government has provided funding of up to $3 million over 3 years to June 2019 for Farm Management Grants. In addition it has removed stamp duty on the intergenerational transfer of family farm assets and has increased the limit of QRIDA’s First Start loans from $650,000 to $2 million.
In 2017-18, QRIDA has already approved 90 First Start loan applications worth $47 million opening the way for the next generation to take on the family business or to make their own start in Queensland agriculture.
With the end of the financial year fast approaching, I would encourage more Queensland farming families to take advantage of these succession planning rebates.
For more information visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or Freecall 1800 623 946.
Cameron MacMillan is the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority CEO.