Media Release

​Growing productivity in agriculture

11 May 2018

  • $20 million over four years for the National Forestry Industry Plan, $6.6 million to improve ways to control established pests and weeds in 2019–20, $4.7 million over four years for more detailed and better data on the agricultural workforce.
  • Continued measures from Ag White Paper such as doubling farm management deposit, instant asset write offs up to $20,000 and asset write offs for water and fodder storage and fencing.

The future of Australian agriculture, associated jobs and the economy is being supported through the Coalition Government's investment in productivity and growth in this year's Budget. ​

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said agricultural productivity growth was essential for the sector to reach its potential and hit the NFF's ambitious target of becoming a $100 billion industry by 2030.

"The future for Aussie agriculture is bright, but we can't slacken off. We must boost our production to secure the long-term wealth of the nation," Minister Littleproud said.

"The Budget delivers $20 million for implementation of the National Forestry Industry Plan, to boost regional forestry job opportunities and grow Australia's renewable timber and wood-fibre industry.

"The forestry sector directly employs more than 67,000 people (2016-17) and want to ensure our forestry industry remains competitive and can adapt to suit evolving market preferences.

"The Coalition is continuing the fight against the scourge of pests and weeds, delivering $6.6 million to manage their impact on productivity.

"Pests and weeds cost our farmers around $4 billion a year in livestock losses, disease controls and weed management costs which has a huge impact on a farm's productivity.

"This government wants to ensure farmers have access to the labour force they need to get their produce off the tree or vine and to market.

"That's why we are expanding a study into seasonal agricultural labour demand and supply conducted by ABARES to include more comprehensive data.

"The study will collect data on labour costs, number and type of people employed, the skills required in different industries and challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.

Minister Littleproud said investments as part of the 2018-19 Budget build on investment of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

"We continue to give farmers a fair go through measures such as doubling farm management deposits to $800,000 and 100 per cent write offs on water storage and fences and write offs over three years for fodder storage to build drought resilience," Minister Littleproud said.

"Farmers and small businesses will continue to have access to the $20,000 instant asset write-offs for a further 12 months to enable them to replace or upgrade things like the old work ute."

Fast facts:

  • $20 million to implement the new National Forestry Industry Plan and drive growth in renewable timber and wood fibre industries.
  • Consultation on the forestry plan will continue ahead of its release in late 2018.
  • The government committed $50 million in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to improve the way established pests and weeds are managed and $25.8 million for pest and weed problems in drought affected areas.