The Federal Budget 2018-19 was handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison in Canberra last night.
To keep our SIA members informed, we’ve pulled together an at-a-glance guide of what you need to know.
- The 2018-19 Budget delivers $224 million in new funding for agriculture, fisheries and forestry to “drive continued growth and competitiveness”.
- The government has committed $51.3 million to grow agricultural exports, including an extra six Agricultural Councillors to support market access and provide a stronger representation in key emerging markets. This is designed to capture the gains from new export agreements like the TPP-11, the Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
- A $121.6 million boost to the bio-security system, across all sectors of Australian agriculture, to support the trade push and ensure protection of the clean, green status.
- The government will spend $160.9 million over four years to improve the “accuracy, integrity and availability of satellite navigation”. The funding will increase GPS to an accuracy of 10 centimetres across all of Australia and its maritime zones, including to areas without mobile phone coverage.
- There is no new funding to fix mobile blackspots in regional Australia.
- The government will allocate $500m to mitigate the impacts of climate change and environmental damage on the Great Barrier Reef.
- From July 1, 2019, port operators will be slugged with a new levy of $10.02 per 20-foot container, or $1 per tonne for non-containerised cargo. The government will invest the estimated $360 million over four years in measures to detect, identify and respond to exotic pests and diseases earlier.
- An Anti-Slavery Unit will be set up — at a cost of $3.6 million — to prevent modern slavery from occurring in the supply chains and operations of businesses operating in Australia.
- A spend of $3.5 billion for the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative which will upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia.
A map of the key freight corridors to be upgraded as part
of the 2018-19 budget. Image: www.budget.gov.au.
- A commitment of $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.
- The ATO will roll out “mobile strike teams”, more auditors and a community hotline to target Australians who are hiding transactions and avoiding tax. The cash crackdown is expected to bring in an additional $3 billion over four years.
- The instant asset write offs for small business for purchases under $20,000 will be extended for another 12 months to June 30, 2019.
- Expansion of an ABARES study into seasonal agricultural labour demand and supply.
- A further $250m over three years to continue the Indigenous ranger program, which employs more than 2,000 people to work on their traditional lands, rehabilitating and managing the environment – both land and sea.
- Operation Sovereign Borders will receive an extra $62.2 million over two years, with the money going towards continued regional maritime security activities, international action to tackle people smuggling, supporting offshore detention and resettlement arrangements.
- Wage subsidies of up to $10,000 for employers who take on older workers.
- Skills and Training Incentive to allow mature age workers to update their skills..
- The government will invest $300,000 into developing for more cruise ship berthing sites in Sydney Harbour.
- The government has pledged almost $49 million to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to Australia and the Pacific. It will go towards supporting events and exhibitions including a digital platform and educational material on this significant anniversary in Australia’s history, and the voyaging of the replica Endeavour.
- The government will provide $35.7 million over four years for a science program in the Antarctic which will look into its climate and ecosystems.
- The budget included no further drought relief to support farmers in affected areas, nor any clear plan to deal with another major drought.
Click here to find out more.
Cover image: www.twitter.com/ScottMorrisonMP.