Budget 2024-25: Protecting and Growing the Future of Agriculture

The Albanese Labor Government will invest $789 million over the next eight years in the Budget to help farmers and producers protect and adapt against the impacts of climate change, build more resilience for the sector and maintain Australia’s position as a trusted and reliable trading partner.

Farmers are on the frontline of climate change, facing more intense and frequent natural disasters and weather extremes which is already hurting the bottom line.

The Albanese Government is committed to helping farmers and regional communities across the country become more productive and more profitable, while also reducing their emissions.

Drought preparedness and resilience

Helping regional and rural communities prepare for the next drought and manage climate risk is a key feature of the Albanese Government’s $519.1 million spend from the Future Drought Fund (FDF). Support for farmers and regional communities in this Budget includes:

  • $235 million over eight years to work with regions and communities to help them manage their own drought and climate risks, through collaborative and locally led action. The funding will continue the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub model, provide for the next phase of the Regional Drought Resilience Planning Program and deliver a revised FDF Communities program. 
  • $15 million over four years to work with First Nations peoples and communities to support connection to country through management of drought and climate risks. The funding will establish a First Nations Advisory Group to advise on issues relating to drought and climate resilience, a pilot program to facilitate place-based, First Nations-led activities, and dedicated funding to support activities that seek to improve opportunities for First Nations participation in FDF drought and climate resilience activities. 
  • $137.4 million over five years to support farmers and regional communities to make informed decisions and better manage drought and climate risks. The funding will extend and improve the existing Farm Business Resilience and Climate Services for Agriculture programs, and deliver the new Scaling Success Program. 
  • $120.3 million over six years for programs that trial innovative solutions with the potential to build the agriculture sector, landscapes and communities’ long-term resilience to drought and climate risks, through transformational change. The funding will continue and expand the FDF Long Term Trials Program, a revised FDF Resilient Landscapes Program, and will implement a new FDF Innovation Challenges Pilot. These activities will lead to increased uptake of evidence-based, innovative practices, approaches and technologies. 
  • $11.4 million over four years to support critical enabling activities to effectively deliver drought and climate resilience outcomes. This will support monitoring, evaluation and learning to measure outcomes and share knowledge generated by FDF programs about how to address drought and climate risks. 
  • A further $13.9 million over the next four years will be spent to ensure the Government maintains a state of readiness for drought. The funding supports a nationally consistent approach to drought policy and programs, which will informed by the 2024-2029 National Drought Agreement and the Australian Government’s Drought Plan. These key activities will be supported by inclusive and timely stakeholder engagement and communications to ensure drought policy is informed by the people it impacts. Consultation on the Australian Government’s Drought Plan will commence shortly. 
  • From 2028-29, a further $3.4 million per year ongoing has also been allocated to ensure the Government has an ongoing focus on drought as we know the best time to prepare for drought is before drought occurs.

Climate and sustainability

To ensure the agriculture and land sectors can meaningfully contribute to the whole-of-economy transition to net zero, the Government is investing $63.8 million over ten years to support initial emissions reduction efforts.

Phase out of live sheep exports by sea

This Budget also includes a $107 million assistance package over five years to help the Australian sheep industry transition away from live exports by 1 May 2028, realising the booming opportunities for Australian sheepmeat and wool across the globe.

Ending the trade was an election commitment, with an independent report recommending a suite of measures following extensive consultation with industry and the public.

The assistance package will help the $77 million industry to transition away from live exports into onshore processing, creating added value for the local processing market and additional jobs in Western Australia.

The package also provides funding for overseas market development for Australian sheepmeat, as well as funding for rural mental health programs in Western Australia.

Agriculture workforce

More Australians will be encouraged to enter the agricultural workforce with a revised and focussed AgUP grants program.

The Government will use $1.9 million over three years to provide targeted grants to industry led projects that can benefit the entire sector.

The program will support the continuation of existing activities for National Farm Safety Week and work experience opportunities for young people interested in agriculture through the AgCareer start pilot.

It also includes funding for a new, skilled agricultural work liaison program, in urban and regional universities, aimed at increasing the number of highly-skilled graduates entering the sector.

The funding will help the Government address diverse and complex workforce issues such as attraction and retention.

Food labelling

This Budget will also see the Government deliver on its election commitment to deliver accurate and clear labelling of plant-based alternative protein products.

The Government will spend $1.5 million over two years from 2023–24 to work with industry and regulatory agencies to improve existing arrangements in labelling.

The funding will also support independent research into consumers’ current understanding of plant-based labelling and inform improvements to guidance material.

Biosecurity

The Albanese Government is investing $16.9 million over four years to ensure the biosecurity integrity of Australia’s border remains contemporary and adaptable to evolving global risks by underpinning biosecurity operations with specialist technology and equipment at Sydney’s new international airport.

Western Sydney International Airport, which is currently under construction, will be fitted out with specialist screening and biosecurity risk detection equipment and scientific diagnostic equipment to support biosecurity officers and detector dogs continue to keep Australia free from exotic pests and diseases.

The canine facility will be fitted out to provide canine care, including medical and veterinarian needs and food and accommodation for the Biosecurity, Australian Border Force and Australian Federal Police dog fleets.

Western Sydney International Airport is expected to be one of Australia’s busiest airports when it opens. The Department is working closely and co-designing with Western Sydney International Airport and other Commonwealth agencies on infrastructure and facilities for border services.

Forestry and Fisheries

The Government is investing $3.4 million over four years to implement and complete its plan for forestry, A Future Grown in Australia: A Better Plan for Forestry and Forestry Products. 

This allows delivery of the Government’s election commitment to develop a national strategy for the wood fibre and forestry sector and a commitment to review the 1992 National Forestry Policy Statement in collaboration with state and territory governments. 

These initiatives are part of a $302 million investment in new plantations and technology and will contribute to achieving and realising a long-term outlook for the forestry industry, which is a key element of regional communities around the country. 

The Government has also committed $1.7 million to ensure the Australian Fisheries Management Authority can protect our northern waters from the growing threat of illegal fishing, which is a risk to our fishing industry, our biosecurity status, our environment and our border security. 

For more information head to the DAFF budget webpage