The Federal Government has released its Green Paper as part of the ongoing review into Australian agricultural competitiveness and is calling on all stakeholders to comment on a range of new proposals and policy suggestions. The Paper outlines ideas thought to increase farm gate returns, open new markets and allow farmers to better prepare and plan for events such as drought and flood.
The Paper sets out a number of proposals to support the sector, including the introduction of numerous tax breaks, permanent access to concessional loans, cheaper imported labour, expanded foreign investment restrictions and a revitalisation of co-operatives. Also raised is the possibility of court ordered divestments by supermarkets of their businesses and forcing supermarkets to negotiate prices with a new farmer owned co-operative and industry marketing boards.
Proposals have also been put forward as to infrastructure requirements and investment, including plans to build more dams and fund irrigation projects across the country. Interactions between farmers and mining companies have also been addressed with a particular emphasis placed on the impact of operations on aquifers and land.
Submissions on the issues and ideas raised in the Paper are open online until 12 December 2014. A White Paper will then be released early next year outlining what ideas the Government will adopt as policy.
If you require any help in making a submission, please contact Tim Ferrier.