​Media Release

Responsible investment to secure better returns for all Australians

12 May 2015

The 2015​ Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.

The 2015 Budget sets out strong foundations for future investment in Australia’s $52 billion agriculture sector, Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce said today.

“Agriculture is the lifeblood of rural and regional Australia and one of the few industries delivering consistent returns to Australia as the mining boom wanes,” Minister Joyce said.

“Australian agriculture not only feeds our country, but 40 million people beyond our shores. It provides employment for more than 270,000 Australians and underpins our largest manufacturing sector—food processing—which employs a further 223,000 people.

“It is essential we create an environment that allows our farmers to grasp new opportunities that will benefit the whole nation.

“Through the 2015 Budget the Government is doing just that – maintaining core funding for key functions, like biosecurity and research and development, while supporting farmers dealing with prolonged and unprecedented drought conditions.

“We’ve achieved this in a responsible way by reducing red tape, reprioritising our investment to bring profits back to the farmgate and preserving funding for what’s important, like disease response preparedness.

“The benefit of a responsible Budget is the flexibility it creates to make responsible investments in the future.

“We’ve been listening to farmers, their advisers and their communities through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper process and the Water Infrastructure Taskforce about what is needed to build a stronger industry.

"They tell us a productive agriculture sector needs investment in key areas – ensuring a fair go for farmers; support in hard times; access to markets; good biosecurity; infrastructure; and access to leading edge research and development.

“On 9 May, the Prime Minister and I brought forward immediate drought support measures because of the real and critical need in some parts of rural Australia.

“We have also delivered on our commitment to research and development through the recent announcement of the first round of successful projects in the $100 million Rural R&D for Profit initiative–and we’ve improved access to markets through three new free trade agreements with three of our top five agricultural trading partners.

“Work is well advanced to deliver significant investment in this crucial sector through the forthcoming Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, Northern Australia White Paper and the Water Infrastructure Taskforce.”