​​Media release

Driving jobs and economic growth in rural and regional Australia

8 May 2018

  • Driving jobs and economic growth in rural and regional Australia
  • The 2018-19 Budget delivers $224 million in new funding for agriculture, fisheries and forestry to drive continued growth and competitiveness.
  • The investment will grow trade and jobs by creating new market access and supporting the biosecurity system underpinning it.
Aussie farmers, producers and exporters will enjoy better returns and more jobs thanks to key Budget initiatives announced today.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said the Budget would help grow our agricultural exports and jobs, underpinned by strong biosecurity.

Trade is key to our farmers’ futures and our nation’s future. Our investment will deliver better access to global markets and jobs to rural and regional Australia,” Minister Littleproud said.

We have committed more than $51.3 million to grow agricultural exports, including funding an extra six Agricultural Counsellors in key markets and to support successful market access. This builds on the momentum of the Agricultural Competiveness White Paper.

This will ensure we capture the gains from new export agreements like the TPP-11, the Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

The agricultural counsellor network helps farmers build strong relationships with key trading partners. It also provides vital market intelligence and works through trade barriers.

“We are also focussed on growing employment opportunities in regional and rural Australia through $20 million to support implementation of the National Forestry Industry Plan.

“It is focused on growing our industry, including expanding the renewable timber and wood fibre industries, to take advantage of global demand for timber products.

“Our clean, green image is key to our farming future. We’re delivering a $121.6 million boost to the biosecurity system, to support our trade push and ensure we can protect that clean, green status.

“This will help us to detect, identify and respond to exotic pests and diseases earlier.

“We are investing a further $6.6 million to continue the fight against established pests and weeds to help limit their impact on our land, produce and industries.

“The $10.1 million for digital transformation improvements to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority will increase efficiency and $6.3 million for access to minor use chemicals will provide greater access to a broader range of uses for agricultural chemicals.

“Our significant investments through the 2018-19 Budget to support the agricultural sector are part of the Government’s vision for a more profitable, competitive, resilient and sustainable sector.”

To support the growth of our agricultural export markets and a sustainable national budget some services will be cost recovered and the government will consult with industry on the appropriate approach.

Key Budget measures:
  • $121.6 million investment in the biosecurity system to better manage future risks to maintain our favourable pest and disease status and support our agricultural trade push. This includes $20.0 million in 2017-18 to the Tasmanian Government to assist with the management of the fruit fly outbreak in northern Tasmania.
  • $51.3 million to grow our agricultural exports and seize market access opportunities in global food chains, with six additional Agricultural Counsellors and funding for the technical, scientific work to support market access requests.
  • $10.1 million for digital transformation of the APVMA and a $6.3 million extension of the initiative to improve grower access to minor use chemicals.
  • $20 million to support the implementation of the National Forestry Industry Plan and drive growth in the renewable timber and wood fibre industries.
  • $6.6 million for the Established Pest Animals and Weeds Management Pipeline—an extension of successful initiatives from the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.