Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed the 2020-21 Federal Budget, calling it a great win for Australian businesses.
“The Federal Government has moved decisively in this Budget and helped carve out a path to recovery for the many industries, including the Australian seafood industry, impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said.
“The 2020-21 Budget recognises the fundamental role agriculture and primary production is poised to play in Australia’s COVID-19 recovery and reaffirms the Government’s support of the Australian seafood industry.
“On behalf of our members, and the entire Australian seafood industry, SIA would like to thank the Coalition for their unwavering support, and for helping to keep Australian businesses and jobs afloat, and Australian seafood on the table.
“This is arguably the most important Budget of a generation, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has outlined a pragmatic, bold spending agenda that will accelerate agriculture’s growth and the contribution Australia’s seafood industry makes to the nation’s bottom line.
“SIA welcomes the combination of big-ticket, future-focused spends including funding for the Australian seafood industry’s first ever consumption marketing campaign, the extension of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), instant asset write-offs, regional tourism, measures to address labour shortages, and support for upskilling.
“The extension of the IFAM until June 30, 2021 will allow Australia’s wild-catch fishers and aquaculturists to deliver produce to key international markets including China, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, as we approach key calendar dates including Chinese New Year.
“This extension provides market certainty to our exporters who rely on air freight, and will help protect jobs in the wild-caught and aquaculture sectors, and countless more positions downstream in postharvest, freighting and beyond. Keeping our industry connected to international markets not only secures the future of businesses and jobs, but cements our reputation as a reliable trading partner post-COVID-19.
“Support to cultivate profitable and resilient businesses is welcomed by industry. The Federal Government’s $4 million investment in SIA’s ‘Eat Seafood, Australia!’ consumption marketing campaign to encourage Australians to eat more Australian Seafood, along with the AFMA fee-levy relief is of unparalleled importance to industry.
“This budget is a win for businesses, and has the support of the Australian seafood industry.”