Agriculture & Regional Australia
"Our vision is to build a more profitable, more resilient and more sustainable agriculture sector to help drive a stronger Australian economy."
Australian agriculture is a pillar of our national economy. Everything we do as a government is about backing hard working Australian families, including farmers and farm businesses. We want the best possible outcomes for Australia’s agricultural, forest and fishing industries.
The Turnbull Government is implementing the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, a $4 billion investment in the agriculture sector. This represents the biggest agricultural investment in living memory. It will boost the productivity, competitiveness and resilience of our farmers.
It includes $2.97 billion to support farmers and rural communities in strengthening their drought preparedness. We have delivered more than $1 billion in assistance to farmers who are doing it tough with drought and other hardships. We have also provided national disaster relief assistance to farmers affected by flood, fire and cyclones or biosecurity incidents. And we are establishing the new Regional Investment Corporation to streamline the delivery of concessional loans for farm businesses.
Open markets have underpinned our unprecedented 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth but we must continue to compete aggressively to export our agricultural services and products. We are pursuing greater access for our agriculture commodities and products, particularly capitalising on the growing demand in our region for high quality, safe, soft commodities. We have concluded or enhanced four FTAs in the past three years, with China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore, and we are pursuing even more opportunities for Australian agriculture.
The Government is also investing in strengthened biosecurity to manage risks that threaten our agricultural sector, the rural communities that depend on them, the environment and the broader economy. This includes $200 million over four years to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis targeting critical risks, including in northern Australia.
It is vitally important that economic opportunity, jobs and security are shared right across Australia. Our regions are responsible for almost three quarters of Australia’s exports, the majority of Australia’s production of gas and electricity, half the nation’s tourism and most of our food and fibre production. Innovation and investment for our regions will be a key driver of Australia’s long-term economic growth.
The Turnbull Government is establishing a new $472 million Regional Growth Fund that will back regions’ priorities for jobs, investment and economic growth. The Fund includes an extra $200 million for the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
The Government has also invested $220 million in a Regional Jobs and Investment Package, creating even more opportunities for regional communities to access the investment they need for new sustainable jobs.
We are investing more in regional communications infrastructure than ever before.
We are prioritising rolling out better broadband in regional Australia, with more than 2.7 million premises in regional areas that can access NBN services.
The Government recognises that mobile coverage is an important issue for Australians living in regional areas. Our $220 million Mobile Black Spot Program is fixing thousands of black spots in regional communities. Rounds 1 and 2 of the Program are delivering 765 new and improved base stations, with more to come. This investment has been used to leverage almost $600 million in new mobile infrastructure, fixing around 4,400 mobile black spots and improving coverage for regional Australia.
Under the Turnbull Government
Prime Minister of Australia
The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
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