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Budget offers mixed bag for dairy

The 2015 Federal Budget announced on 12 May, delivered modest gains for agriculture. With initiatives aimed at supporting rural and small businesses such
as tax breaks for those with annual turnover under $2 million, social and community support services for rural Australians, and drought relief assistance,
dairy came out slightly better off than the year before.

On 27 May, ADF welcomed the announcement from Federal Government that it would bring forward the introduction of accelerated depreciation of fodder, fencing
and water assets to the night of the Federal Budget, as opposed to 1 July 2016. This decision will greatly benefit farmers who have been recently impacted
by severe floods and drought. ADF acknowledges the considerable effort of the Hon. Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, in making this happen.
Key gains for dairy in the 2015 budget:
•Tax write-offs for fences and new water storage
•$25 million for assistance for drought affected areas to reduce the impact of pest animals
•$20 million towards social and community support services for emotional impacts on farmers. And an extra $1.8 million for more counsellors.
•Cattle Farmers in the north will see $101.3 million over the next four years for improved road infrastructure
•$25 million to towards assisting Australian producers access the benefits of free trade agreements
•Tax burden for small business will be reduced to 1.5 per cent for businesses with annual turnover under $2 million
•A 5 per cent tax discount for smaller, unincorporated businesses
•An immediate tax deduction of all assets under $20,000 will allow small businesses to invest in new tools or machinery.
•$3.7 million allocated to implement recommendations from the review into the integrity of the 457 Visa Program.
The budget also included money for drought grants and loan schemes, however, this is the same money that was previously allocated but not spent.
ADF would have appreciated the budget also address the lack of Agricultural Counsellor postings to assist with reducing technical barriers to trade within
key international dairy markets. We also would like to have seen further Investment in agriculture R, D&E, CRCs, infrastructure for rural regions
and biosecurity.
There is still an opportunity to address these issues in the upcoming Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. ADF will continue to advocate and work
with government to help ensure the budget allocations are used to maximise its benefit for the dairy industry.

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