Industry welcomes budget

Industry members say the government are putting their money on the sector

Agribusiness
BIG SPENDER: The treasurer's budget will inject more than $850m towards the agricultural industry.

BIG SPENDER: The treasurer's budget will inject more than $850m towards the agricultural industry.

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Industry welcomes the more than $850 million allocated to the agricultural sector.

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Queensland agricultural industry members have welcomed the government's big spending budget, calling it a win for the sector.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg shovelled $200 million into a national soil strategy and committed $370 million to bolster the nation's biosecurity. A further $60 million will also be spent on emission management research on top of an extension to the popular asset write off for Australian businesses.

Sarah Becker from Central Queensland rural business specialist accounting firm Becker & Co said that the funding demonstrates the government's intention to develop the agricultural industry.

"The government is providing $850 million towards the agricultural sector over the next five years and that clearly shows the intention to make the farming sector bigger than it already is," Ms Becker said.

"Improving technology in the sector appears to be a big focus, and that can only really be a win."

Melinda Peters from rural focused Queensland law firm McCullough Robertson also praised the big spending budget but highlighted a lack of focus on climate and emission targets.

"I think we would have all liked to see some further announcements in relation to climate change and targets, there has been a significant amount of funding directed towards such measures but we haven't seen a clear policy or objective from the government handed down to the industry which addresses the government's plan on this," Ms Peters said.

Ms Becker said that through government funded agricultural career start up programs, announced before the budget, the industry has an opportunity to invite a new type of work force.

"There's a push to encourage people through different pathways into agriculture and that is clear. It's not a traditional 'I own a block of land and work with some cattle', there is a push for future direction that will create more opportunity for investment," she said.

"There's a lot of goodwill from the agricultural sector and we need to be very careful that we don't jeopardise that."

Peak industry body for horticulture, Growcom said the announcement of a $3.6 million investment over four years to extend their Fair Farms program will provide growers with best practice farm management.

Fair Farms National Program Manager Marsha Aralar said this was a sign that the government is backing best practice farming.

"Strong uptake of the program so far indicates growing intent along the supply chain to demonstrate fair and equitable work practices and eradicate exploitation," Ms Aralar said.

Since June 2020 the program has experienced a 230 per cent increase in registered participants, and those who had completed their online self-assessments had more than quadrupled ahead of the formal auditing process.

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