With less than 15 days until the Federal Budget, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is reminding Treasurer Scott Morrison that every cent counts when it comes to economic settings for the farm sector.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the peak farming organisation had issued a broad but sensible Budget wish-list.
“At the centre of our submission is a call for budget repair, the boosting of business confidence and a regulatory environment that supports farmers’ success.”
"Budget repair is not some theoretical concern to food and fibre producers. We need a healthy budget to maintain Australia’s international competitiveness.
The NFF’s wish-list includes a reduction in the tax burden, enhanced labour-market flexibility and infrastructure investment - including in telecommunications and rail.
Specific key asks include a minimum of $1 billion for the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail project, $60 million for the Mobile Black Spot Programme and the continuation, in perpetuity, of small business asset write-off provisions.
Mr Mahar said the NFF, and its members, had a bold vision for Australian agriculture.
“In 2017-2018, agricultural production is forecast to tip $68.5 billion – the highest ever.
“And we believe there is potential for more growth. By 2030 our goal is for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry.”
Mr Mahar said the Government had a significant role to play in seeing the sector achieve this vision.
“Farmers need a regulatory environment that fosters growth, productivity, innovation and ambition – not impedes it."
He said budget repair was a priority but it must be pursued in a way that fosters growth.
“There must also be measures to boost confidence and provide incentives to work, save and invest,” Mr Mahar said.