Federal Budget 2022-23

AUSVEG welcomes the new Federal Government investment into the PALM scheme, skills, biosecurity, and accommodation. Each of these will contribute to the goal of a $100 billion agriculture sector by 2030.

However, despite the industry continually highlighting the severe labour shortage, the budget provided no immediate solution. Growers have watched too many crops go unpicked or left to rot in the field.

The labour shortage on farms links directly to the cost and availability to food on shelves for Australian consumers. The government urgently needs to do more to address this problem to keep the cost of living down and assist our industry to feed the nation.

The new announcements from the October 2022-23 Federal Budget that impact agriculture include:

Training and Workforce

  • Delivering 480,000 fee-free TAFE places.
  • Boosting the Work Bonus income bank to give older Australians the option to work and keep more of their pension.


  • Pacific Australia Labour Mobility participants on long-term placements will be able to bring partners and children to Australia when sponsored by their employers.
  • To boost permanent migration from Pacific Island countries to Australia, the Government is creating a new Pacific Engagement Visa. Up to 3,000 permanent visas will be allocated annually to nationals of Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste in addition to the existing permanent Migration Program.
  • To address skills shortages more quickly, additional funding of $42.2 million will be provided to accelerate visa processing, reduce the visa backlog, and raise awareness of opportunities for high-skilled migrants in Australia’s permanent Migration Program.
  • The permanent Migration Program will be expanded by an additional 35,000 workers to 195,000 in 2022–23.

Climate change and prevention

  • $42.6 million to restore the Climate Change Authority and introduce an Annual Climate Change Statement to Parliament to increase transparency around climate-related spending in the Budget.
  • $1.8 billion investment in strong action to protect, restore and manage our precious natural environment.
  • Up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience initiatives through the Disaster Ready Fund, as well as additional funding for flood affected communities and extra staff to quickly get Australians the support they need.


  • Establishing the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to support a future made in Australia.
  • More than $120 billion of investment in transport infrastructure over the next 10 years.
  • $2.4 billion in NBN Co to extend fibre access to 1.5 million more premises and $1.2 billion for the Better Connectivity for Regional and Rural Australia Plan.
  • A Powering Australia Plan to drive investment in cleaner, cheaper energy, including $20 billion of low-cost finance under Rewiring the Nation to upgrade our electricity infrastructure.
  • More affordable housing, including through a new national Housing Accord which brings together governments, investors, and industry to boost supply and deliver up to 20,000 new affordable homes.
  • Rewiring the Nation will use $20 billion of low-cost finance to make much needed upgrades to our outdated electricity grid. This includes investing in Marinus Link to connect Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation pumped hydro and renewables to the East Coast transmission network.
  • The Government will establish the $1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund to help transform regional industries and help regional Australians access the economic opportunities of decarbonisation.


  • Protecting our farmers from pests and diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease.
  • In the face of growing risks posed by pests and diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, the Government is investing $134.1 million to bolster Australia’s biosecurity system. More detector dogs will intercept biosecurity threats coming through mail, cargo and air passengers.


  • The Government will invest $1.2 billion in water infrastructure through its National Water Grid Fund. New projects in the Cairns region and across Tasmania will increase irrigatable land by more than 114,855 ha.
  • The Government will also make $1 billion available for future projects that increase Australia’s water security, reliability, and sustainability.

Cuts to agriculture budget measures

Following a “spending audit” the government also announced a range of reductions or cuts to measures previously announced in the agriculture portfolio, including:

  • $14 million over two years for the partial reversal of a budget measure announced in March that was going to fund Round 2 of the Agricultural Shows Development Grant program.
  • $2.8 million in 2022-23 for the partial reversal of the Agriculture Shows and Field Days program, including redirecting uncommitted funding from Round 2 of the same program.
  • $300,000 in 2022–23 for the partial reversal of the National Agricultural Workforce Strategy program.

$30 million over four years for the partial reversal of the Regional Accelerator Program, including redirecting uncommitted cash for the National Centre for Digital Agriculture Innovation and Adoption Hubs.