Federal Budget Falls Short For Farmers

The state’s peak farm body has said the federal budget has fallen short for farmers, with more funding still desperately needed to support rural industries across NSW and beyond.

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers had failed to incorporate fair funding for farmers within the FY25 budget, with the nation’s agricultural sector facing a whole range of increasing costs and challenges to production.

“Make no mistake – farmers are all for improving traceability, but for a federal mandate, we need federal funding to ensure farmers aren’t left out of pocket as we progress complying with traceability reforms for our sheep and goats,” Mr Martin said.

“The Federal Government must find better solutions to fund our biosecurity models other than just a double tax on farmers, and we would happily return the $107 million recently announced to shut down Australia’s live sheep export trade by sea if it meant we could keep this industry operating.

“Meanwhile, our roads and bridges are crumbling around us with little to no support to get them up to scratch – so it seems the Federal Government has failed the bush in its budget this year.”

While a Federal Government commitment to reform mergers and acquisitions would support much-needed competition reform, Mr Martin warned the budget still left farmers at a disadvantage, with far too much focus on households in the cities.

“Thankfully, small businesses will benefit from continued instant asset write-offs, and farmers could see fairer prices at the farm gate if the government makes good on its promises for competition reform – but this is a drop in the ocean in the face of the unfair market power and mounting challenges farmers face.

“While we welcome renewed funding for drought, and particularly for the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs, there really is little other positive news to come out of the federal budget for our farmers.

“The writing is on the wall: this is a budget that gets the government in the green, but leaves farmers in the red.”

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