On Tuesday 8 May 2018, the government delivered the 2018-19 Federal Budget. There were a number of measures that were announced that have implications for the Australian vegetable industry and its members, including in the areas of biosecurity, export development and labour.

Biosecurity was a major area of investment outlined in the Budget, with a total of $121.6 million was allocated to increased investment for biosecurity-related activities. This is good news, not just for the vegetable and potato industries but for the wider agriculture industry, as it is evidence that the government is recognising the ever-growing threat from foreign pests and diseases and the need for maintaining strong and safe borders. We’ve issued a media release welcoming this investment.

Export development was also a major focus for the Budget, with funding for additional Agriculture Counsellors to represent Australia in emerging export markets and work to improve market access. These counsellors are a valuable resource for expanding Australia’s fresh vegetable exports, with existing counsellors in markets such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Middle East forming valuable networks in negotiating market access issues and dealing with technical barriers to trade. We’ve also welcomed this additional funding in a media release.

The government has also committed funding to improving the collection and analysis of agricultural labour force data. The information will be used to better understand the data behind the labour force in Australian agriculture and will help industry form future policies aimed at maximising the harvest of agricultural produce by addressing labour shortages.

There were also a number of infrastructure initiatives that were announced that will have positive benefits for growers and their communities, including the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and additional funding to many state and territory infrastructure projects.

We were pleased to see these important areas receive funding in the Federal Budget. These issues affect vegetable and potato growers and their inclusion demonstrates the government’s commitment to helping our industry remain productive and profitable.

If you’re after more information, we’ve produced a detailed breakdown of the Budget measures that affect our industry, giving you a full analysis of all the ways this Budget could affect your business.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277 or via email at info@ausveg.com.au.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 15 May 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!