Australian Government, 2010‑11 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Drought assistance — Exceptional Circumstances assistance for primary producers

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of the Treasury 51.4 156.2 - - -
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 40.9 125.2 - - -
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 3.5 10.8 - - -
Centrelink 1.4 2.7 - - -
Department of Health and Ageing 0.5 2.4 - - -
Total 97.6 297.3 - - -

The Government will provide $394.9 million over two years to continue support for primary producers in regions that have been declared eligible for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

Exceptional Circumstances assistance provides interest rate subsidies and income support to assist viable farm businesses and farm families who have been adversely affected by prolonged drought. Eligible recipients are also provided with a health care concession card and access to Youth Allowance for their children.

The off‑farm income exemption of $20,000 per annum and the off‑farm assets exemption of $750,000 will remain. This will enable assistance to continue to be provided to a wider range of primary producers in areas declared eligible for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

Further information can be found in various press releases issued by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Drought assistance — Exceptional Circumstances assistance for small business

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of the Treasury 3.2 9.6 - - -
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2.7 8.3 - - -
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations 0.2 0.7 - - -
Centrelink 0.1 0.3 - - -
Department of Health and Ageing .. 0.2 - - -
Total 6.2 19.1 - - -

The Government will provide $25.3 million over two years to continue support for small businesses with up to 100 employees that are dependent on business from farmers in regions declared eligible for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

The small business assistance provides interest rate subsidies and income support to assist viable farm‑dependent businesses and families who have been adversely affected by prolonged drought. Eligible recipients are also provided with a health care concession card and access to Youth Allowance for their children.

The non‑business salaries and wages exemption of $20,000 per annum and the non‑business assets exemption of $750,000 will remain. This will enable assistance to continue to be provided to a wider range of small businesses in areas declared eligible for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

Further information can be found in various press releases issued by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Drought assistance — professional advice and planning — extension

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 15.8 - - -
Centrelink - 2.0 - - -
Total - 17.8 - - -

The Government will provide $17.8 million in 2010‑11 to continue to provide taxable grants of up to $5,500 to eligible farmers in Exceptional Circumstances‑declared areas for professional business and financial planning advice. The grants may be used to undertake a farm business viability assessment and to obtain financial and agronomic advice on changes that may be necessary to ensure the farm business recovers from drought.

Drought assistance — re‑establishment assistance — extension

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 24.4 - - -
Centrelink - 0.4 - - -
Total - 24.8 - - -

The Government will provide $24.8 million in 2010‑11 to continue to assist primary producers in severe financial difficulty who decide to leave their farms.

The assistance includes one‑off exit grants of up to $150,000. The net assets limit for determining eligibility for the full exit grant remains at $350,000. The assistance also includes grants of up to $10,000 for advice and retraining, as well as up to $10,000 to assist farming families to relocate. The assistance is not dependent on primary producers being eligible for Exceptional Circumstances assistance.

Drought assistance — transitional income support — extension

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - - - - -
Centrelink - - - - -
Total - - - - -

The Government will provide $13.9 million in 2010‑11 to continue providing eligible farm families experiencing hardship with up to 12 months of income support payments equivalent to the Newstart Allowance. Eligibility criteria for assistance will include a similar income test to the Newstart Allowance and a limit on the net value of assets of $1.5 million. Recipients of Exceptional Circumstances Relief Payments are not eligible for this support. Applicants will be required to obtain and act on business viability advice and training available through the Australia's Farming Future — Climate Change Adjustment program. The funding includes $1.2 million in 2010‑11 for Centrelink to deliver the program.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Drought policy reform — pilot of new measures in Western Australia

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 0.2 5.0 0.3 0.1 0.1
Centrelink 0.6 2.9 - - -
Department of the Treasury - 1.1 3.4 1.1 1.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - 0.9 - - -
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.9 - - -
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations - 0.2 - - -
Total 0.8 11.0 3.7 1.1 1.2
Australian Taxation Office - .. .. - -

The Government will provide $18.0 million over five years from 2009‑10 to pilot new drought reform measures in selected regions of Western Australia. The measures are designed to encourage farmers and farm families to adopt self‑reliant approaches to managing farm risks and adjust to the impacts of climate change and reduced water availability.

The 12‑month pilot will commence on 1 July 2010 and will be delivered and funded in partnership with the Government of Western Australia, which has agreed to contribute $5.0 million. This brings the total cost of the pilot to $23.0 million over five years, with the State Government contributing approximately 20 per cent.

The pilot includes $4.9 million for income support for eligible farmers experiencing hardship. Recipients will be eligible for the beneficiary tax offset and may be eligible for a health care concession card, Youth Allowance for their children and early release of superannuation benefits. A $0.3 million Farm Exit Support component will assist eligible primary producers in severe financial difficulty who leave their farms.

The pilot will also provide up to $3.6 million for farmers to undertake business planning and to develop a strategic business plan for their farm enterprise. Up to $8.4 million will be provided under the Building Farm Businesses component for grants of up to $60,000 that assist eligible farmers to prepare for climate change and reduced water availability.

The pilot includes $3.3 million for Farm Social Support to enhance and better coordinate social support services. A $1.1 million Stronger Rural Communities component will enhance social and community services. Funding will also be provided for communications and a review of the pilot.

Further information can be found in the press release of 5 May 2010 issued by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Fisheries Research program — reduction in funding

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - -0.3 - - -

The Government will redirect $0.3 million from the Fisheries Research program in 2010‑11 to partially fund the Pacific Island Forum Leaders' Fisheries initiative.

See also the related expense measure titled Pacific Island Forum Leaders' Fisheries initiative in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

Maintain funding for Quarantine Border Security

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - - - - -
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service - - - - -
Total - - - - -

The Government will provide $265.5 million over two years to maintain funding for quarantine border protection activities. The funding includes $137.6 million for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and $127.9 million for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to maintain the enhanced level of quarantine screening in response to emerging quarantine risks and threats.

This measure involves funding of $132.3 million in 2010‑11 and $133.2 million in 2011‑12. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

See also the related expense measures titled Reform of Australia's biosecurity system — foundation elements of biosecurity reform and Reform of Australia's biosecurity system — moving core business towards reform in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

Pacific Island Forum Leaders' Fisheries initiative — establishment

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 0.6 0.4 0.5 -
Australian Fisheries Management Authority - 0.2 0.4 0.3 -
Total - 0.8 0.8 0.8 -

The Government will provide $2.4 million over three years to enable Australia to take a leadership role in establishing a new legal framework for maritime surveillance and enforcement with Pacific Island countries, and to improve fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance throughout the region.

Promoting Australian Produce (Major Events) — extension

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - - - - -

The Government will provide $4.0 million over two years ($3.0 million in 2009‑10 and $1.0 million in 2010‑11) to continue support for the staging of major national and international events that facilitate the exchange of information and the promotion of Australian agricultural products. Applicants will be expected to fund a share of project costs.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Reform of Australia's biosecurity system — foundation elements of biosecurity reform

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0

The Government will provide $20.0 million over four years to continue to progress the reform of Australia's biosecurity system. This includes development of a risk‑based approach to biosecurity operations, and the enhancement of data collection and analysis capabilities within the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

The cost of this measure will be met by increasing the level of cost recovery from Australia Post for the quarantine clearance of incoming international mail from 1 July 2010.

See also the related expense measure titled Maintain funding for Quarantine Border Security in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

Reform of Australia's biosecurity system — moving core business towards reform

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 31.8 29.5 - -
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 3.9 - - -

The Government will provide $61.3 million over two years to maintain core quarantine border protection activities and to commence work on the initial elements of biosecurity reform as recommended by the One Biosecurity: A Working Partnership report. The funding will also enable continuation of the Office of the Interim Inspector General of Biosecurity, the expanded Eminent Scientists Group and the recently appointed Biosecurity Advisory Council.

The measure includes funding of $3.9 million in 2010‑11 for the development of the project concept for future arrangements for post‑entry quarantine facilities. The cost of this component will be recovered from relevant industry sectors under existing cost recovery arrangements.

See also the related expense measure titled Maintain funding for Quarantine Border Security in the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

Reform of Australia's export certification services — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - 65.0 - - -

The Government will provide an additional $88.0 million over two years (including $12.3 million in 2009‑10) for the development and implementation of more efficient approaches to the delivery of export regulatory services. The additional funding will provide further transitional support to industry to adjust to the termination of the 40 per cent subsidy for the cost of export certification and inspection work undertaken by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.

The funding includes $75.0 million for a fee rebate for industry and a further $13.0 million to assist exporters to transition from the existing inspectorate‑based certification arrangements to a more efficient audit‑based approach.

This funding builds on the $39.4 million the Government provided for the reform of export certification services in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2009‑10.

Provision for funding of $12.3 million in 2009‑10 and $10.7 million in 2010‑11 has already been included in the forward estimates.

Further information can be found in the press release of 24 November 2009 issued by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Regional Food Producers' Innovation and Productivity program — reduction in funding

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - -1.5 -4.0 - -

The Government will reduce funding for the Regional Food Producers' Innovation and Productivity program. The program will continue to provide $14.3 million over two years to fund matching grants to Australia's food producers to assist them in becoming more competitive through productivity and innovation improvements.

The measure will provide savings of $5.5 million over two years.

Southern Ocean Maritime Patrol and Response program — continuation of funding for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Australian Fisheries Management Authority - - - - -

The Government will provide $13.2 million over four years from 2010‑11 for the continued participation of officers of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority on patrols in the Southern Ocean (including the Heard and McDonald Islands Exclusive Economic Zone) to detect, apprehend and deter illegal foreign fishing.

This measure involves funding of $3.3 million per year over four years from 2010‑11. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

If www.budget.gov.au responds slowly or you are having trouble downloading a document, try one of the Budget Website Mirrors

Note: Where possible, Budget documents are available in HTML and for downloading in Portable Document Format(PDF). If you require further information on any of the tables or charts on this website, please contact The Treasury.