Regional spending in State Budget welcomed

Jun 7, 2024 | Media Release

Primary Producers SA has welcomed the State Government’s ongoing support of biosecurity measures to eradicate fruit fly in yesterday’s State Budget, as well as renewed funding for rural financial counselling to support farming businesses.

While there are limited headlines for primary industries arising from the budget, PPSA has also welcomed a relatively stable operating budget and workforce for the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA).

PPSA Chair Professor Simon Maddocks said he was particularly pleased to see programs that focus on economic development, international trade and market access continue to be part of PIRSA’s work program over the next 12 months.

“We welcome the total package of $686.4 million of new measures that support regional SA in this year’s budget,” he said.

“PPSA acknowledges the broader economic challenges facing the government in casting the budget, including the need to address cost of living pressures and persistent inflation impacting households.

“With SA unemployment reaching the lowest level in five decades, the tight labour market remains a challenge to the agribusiness, food, and wine sector.

“PPSA will continue work with government to address workforce planning issues facing the sector, while the $9 million to support skills and training programs in regional areas will be of great benefit.

“To boost regional workforce participation, we want to ensure budget measures that focus on health services, public education, housing affordability, and reforming early childhood education, also benefit rural communities.”

Professor Maddocks said additional funding of $17.5 million over three years was a welcome step to address the chronic backlog of road maintenance in regional SA.

“Agriculture plays a critical role in the state economic agenda to strengthen SA’s green economic credentials, including the state’s target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050,” he said.

“To this end, we are pleased to see the ongoing commitment of $24.4 million over five years towards net zero agriculture. This funding aims to develop and deliver innovation and on-farm solutions, and to support the upskilling of the agricultural sector to reduce emissions through low emission intensity farming systems.

“We look forward to seeing SARDI play a key role in helping the farm sector adapt to climate change and support carbon farming initiatives, by delivering research to inform a future low-emission intensity farming systems strategy.” 

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