Member for Durack Melissa Price has welcomed the issue of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, labelling the release of the paper as a landmark day in Australian agricultural history.
Ms Price believes the paper Stronger Farmers, Stronger Economy, will help farmers achieve a better return at the farm gate.
$11.4 million will be given to boost the ACCC engagement with the agricultural sector, including a new Commissioner dedicated to agriculture.
Ms Price said a more farm-savvy and proactive ACCC will encourage fair-trading and strengthen competition in agricultural supply chains.
“As the name of the paper suggests, Stronger Farmers, Stronger Economy, our farmers and the agricultural industry is an integral part of not just Durack, but Australia’s economy,” Ms Price said.
“For the last 18 months I’ve listened to the challenges farmers are facing and discussed what needs to be done to address their issues.
“This paper is a $4 billion investment in our farmers.”
Farmers will be able to opt back into income tax averaging after 10 years from 1 July 2016.
Farmers will also be able to double their Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) to $800,000.
“Many farmers have already told me how pleased they are with this increase,” Ms Price said.
“Farmers are also able to deduct the cost of new fencing from 1 July 2016.
“They are also able to deduct the cost of new water infrastructure.” $50 million has been announced to boost Australia’s emergency pest and disease eradication capability, and an additional $50 million will be given to give farmers better tools and control methods against pest animals and weeds.
$200 million will be invested in improving biosecurity surveillance and analysis, including in Australia’s north.
Developing Ord Stage 3 is now back on the agenda, following the Abbott Government’s $30 million set aside to examine water infrastructure investment in Australia’s north.
More money has been set aside in the new National Water Infrastructure Fund for farmers’ future water security.
Despite criticism of a lack of climate change in the paper, Ms Price believed the issue of climate change is addressed through the Government’s Direct Action Plan and said the Agricultural White Paper is purely on Agriculture.
The full paper can be read agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au