Few gains for farmers in State Budget

WAFarmers president Dale Park said today’s State Budget has seen the government provide little commitment to the future of agriculture in Western Australia.

Western Australians will pay up to $99 extra on their vehicle registrations, as of July 1 2016, to fund the introduction of a no-fault insurance scheme.

The scheme was announced earlier this week and it could increase farmers’ operational costs by thousands.

“While there are some concessions, the scheme is going to hit our members hard,” Mr Park said.

The Emergency Services Levy, which is paid by farmers annually, has jumped by 10.9 per cent.

This is compounded by an increase in power and water fees of 4.5 per cent which will drive production costs up, particularly for WA dairy farmers.

The agricultural sector has suffered another blow with the Department of Food and Agriculture (DAFWA) budget slashed by over 10 per cent from last year’s actuals.

Capacity building programs, including the Northern Beef Futures, the Sheep Industry Business Innovation and grains research and development, have received funding through Royalties for Regions.

 “The injection, while not substantial, is welcome,” Mr Park said.

“We await the release of the Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper, which we hope will better outline the future direction of our industry,” Mr Park said.

Ends.

All media requests to be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Sophie Kilby on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].

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