Amid challenging budgetary conditions, WAFarmers is pleased to see the Federal government largely stand by its commitments to agriculture in line with identifying the sector as a key pillar of the Australian economy.
The agriculture sector was preparing itself for a much tougher budget amid repeated rhetoric that everyone would have to share the burden of repair, WAFarmers President Dale Park said.
“Following the recent Commission of Audit report and talk of difficult conditions, we are more than pleased to see the government largely stick by the commitments it made to agriculture prior to last year’s election,” Mr Park said
“One of our biggest concerns was speculation of a cut to the fuel rebate for farmers, but following pressure from National Farmers’ Federation and its members, including WAFarmers, it is great to see the rebate not only retained, but a commitment to a rise in the rebate in line with a rise in the fuel excise.”
Among the commitments to agriculture made prior to the 2013 election and included in the budget are $100million for agricultural research and development and $20million to bolster biosecurity.
“The government has also directed funding to critical infrastructure projects which will enhance the agriculture sector, specifically the Perth Freight Link in Western Australia,” Mr Park said.
“However, we will be following the development of this project closely to ensure there is not a negative impact on farmers through the burden of potential toll roads.”
Mr Park said it was disappointing to see major cuts to the Cooperative Research Centre Program, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and the National Landcare Program.
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Marketing and Communications Officer Leslee Hall on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].