Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
7 July 2015
The federal government has released the long awaited Agriculture Competiveness White Paper in which they pledge to deliver practical actions that will keep our farmers and farming families profitable and resilient.
In essence, the White Paper is the government’s way of recognising the importance of agriculture in Australia and working towards building a system to enable Australia’s farmers to be globally competitive.
The White Paper sets out actions for the agricultural sector in five priority areas: a fairer go for farm businesses; building 21st century water, transport and communications infrastructure; strengthening the approach to drought and risk management; a smarter approach to farming; and access to premium markets.
The White Paper contains significant tax and economic measures to benefit farm businesses including enabling banks to allow Farm Management Deposit (FMD) schemes to be used as a business loan offset, reducing interest costs estimated at up to $150m a year. Along with this, farmers will be able to double their FMDs to $800,000. Both of these measures will take effect from 1 July 2016.
Farmers will also be able to opt back into the income tax averaging system ten years after exiting it. No information has been released in regard to a commencement date for this measure.
The White Paper has outlined more than $1.2b in programs to boost the agriculture sector’s viability, including $500m for building new dams.
Up to $250m in Drought Concessional Loans each year for 11 years and $22.8m to increase Farm Household Allowance case management for farmers has also been allocated.
By lowering tax, cutting red and green tape, building infrastructure, and supporting businesses to innovate and create jobs, the government argues that it will make the agriculture sector stronger, more productive, more profitable and more sustainable.
To download the White Paper click here.
If you would like to know more please speak with your local Boyce accountant.
Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper http://agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ag-competitiveness-white-paper.pdf
Liberal Government media release - https://www.liberal.org.au/latest-news/2015/07/04/agricultural-competitiveness-white-paper-stronger-farmers-stronger-economy