2022-23 Budget backs farmers and Northern Australia

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Morrison-Joyce Government is investing over $600 million in producers and regional communities, backing in our record investments across our agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said this year’s Federal Budget reinforced the Government’s commitment to the agricultural sector and its goal of being a $100 billion industry by 2030. 

“Our Government has a long history of backing Australian farmers,” Minister Littleproud said. 

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is, supporting new programs so farmers can capitalise on export success, prepare for any tough times ahead, and stand at the centre of prosperity and growth across the nation.

“At the same time, we are underpinning economic growth in Northern Australia by providing $7 billion in funding for investments through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

Strengthening trade and exports

We are investing a further $267.1m in a whole-of-government, Simplified Trade System that will streamline trade processes, reduce the cost and time of exporting and make it easier for agricultural businesses to compete internationally. 

This includes a further $127.4 m to the Digital Services to Take Farmers to Markets initiative, building on our Busting Congestion for Agricultural Exporters package.

This will further transform the delivery of government agricultural export systems and services to agricultural exporters, farmers and producers.

This Budget’s Simplified Trade System investment includes $11.7 million to expand Austrade’s Trade Information Service to additional agricultural industries and importers, providing a centralised source of trading information and market advice for farmers. 

We are delivering a ‘Tell us Once’ trade system that reflects the Australian context, through $7.7 million to undertake essential work to consider processes to facilitate agricultural exports and underpin biosecurity.

Protecting Australia from pests and diseases

To protect Australian regional economies, we are investing $61.6 million to boost Northern Australia frontline biosecurity, including to safeguard our northern border against lumpy skin disease and other emerging vector-borne animal diseases.

As part of the government’s $69 million multi-portfolio response to the emergence of Japanese encephalitis virus, we are investing $10 million to support state and territory agriculture departments to undertake necessary surveillance and control activities.

We will further support Australian agriculture through a $20 million grant program, delivered through interested states and territories, to improve on-farm biosecurity and enhance pest and disease traceability.

This commitment is on top of over $500 million invested in biosecurity since the 2021-22 Budget and expected record expenditure of over $1.1 billion on our biosecurity and export programs in 2021-22.

Rewarding stewardship 

We will invest a further $27.3 million to help deliver the government’s vision of a well-functioning voluntary biodiversity market with new income streams for farmers, based on lessons learnt during the Agriculture Biodiversity Stewardship Pilots.

This will simplify participation for farmers and buyers, while providing on-ground support from Natural Resource Management organisations. An expanded National Stewardship Trading Platform will make trading easier, and improved baseline data on biodiversity will help farmers and buyers trade with confidence. 

We’re also increasing the rewards to farmers by improving the tax treatment of income from Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) and biodiversity certificates. This is expected to reduce taxes paid by eligible primary producers by $100 million over 4 years. 

Incentivising innovation

Innovation is driving the next wave of agricultural productivity. To unlock the potential of Australian agriculture, we are putting in place settings to encourage innovation.  

That is why we will invest $23.4 million over 4 years to extend the recently developed patent box regime to the agriculture sector designed to ensure that plant breeding, agricultural and agvet chemical innovation and commercialisation not only gets a strong start locally, but remains in Australia to grow and thrive.

Preparing for future challenges

The 2022-23 Budget consolidates our 4-year drought resilience strategy through the $5 billion Future Drought Fund supporting farmers and their communities to forge a path towards drought resilience.

Programs underway include support for drought planning at an individual farm and regional level, provision of digital tools that assist with drought resilient decision making, over 124 projects to further drought resilient farming practices and technologies, and eight regionally based and focused Innovation Hubs.

In this Budget we are allocating an additional $84.5 million (and $10.0 million over 2 years from 2026-27) to consolidate the 4-year Drought Resilience Funding Plan in place under the Future Drought Fund Act 2019.

Support for shows and events

We are committing $15.4 million to deliver a second round of the oversubscribed and in-demand Agricultural Show Development Grants Program. 

In addition, we will sponsor large agriculture trade events through a $12 million investment that promotes goods and services to national, emerging and export-focused agricultural production sectors in Australia, including $6 million for Beef Australia.

Forestry

The Government will provide $90.6 million over 5 years from 2021 22 to support the sustainability of the forestry industry and to respond to emerging challenges. 

$86.2 million over 5 years will support work with states and territories to establish new plantations to secure future wood supply, and an additional $4.4 million over 2 years will strengthen Australia's illegal logging traceability and timber identification systems.

Northern Australia

We are getting on with the job of creating the right environment for businesses and industry to thrive in Northern Australia. 

Our North, Our Future 2021-2026: Targeted Growth plan focuses on coordinated commitment across all levels of government and business to grow the North and prioritise connectivity, infrastructure, Indigenous economic opportunities, training and education.

This is why we are continuing to invest in key initiatives like the $7 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to attract private sector partners, the highly popular $80 million Northern Australia Development Program to help industry transform and businesses diversify and collaborative Master Plans to expedite investment in priority Regions of Growth. 

Through these investments the Morrison-Joyce Government is continuing to build stronger regions and create more jobs by delivering transformational change for everyday people in Northern Australia to share in the benefits of this resource-rich area.  

For more information on the 2022-23 Budget, visit: www.budget.gov.au