Primary Producers SA has welcomed announcements in tonight’s Federal Budget designed to support rural South Australia and its agricultural businesses, including the forecast budget surplus for 2019-2020.

Primary Producers SA Chairman Rob Kerin says after 12 years of deficits, the return to budget surplus is a long-awaited and welcome development.

“We need to live within our means and not expect future generations to pay our debts,” Mr Kerin said.

“Overall, farmers will be happy with tax relief in which people earning up to $200,000 will move towards a tax rate of 30% as well as the increases in instant write-off provisions for small capital purchases, now up to $30,000.

“These types of changes help to improve farm earnings and cashflow as well as increase purchasing and asset replacement options, which contribute to best practice farm business management.”

Other budget pre-announcements welcomed by the state’s primary production sector include:

  • $34 million to an Agricultural Stewardship Package to reward farmers for the environmental outcomes they deliver for Australia.
  • Commitment to a fifth and sixth round of Mobile Blackspot Programme at $160 million.
  • An extra $60 million to enhance the user experience for NBN Sky Muster customers.
  • $30 million to the Biosecurity Stewardship Programme and $4 million to Farmer Sustainability Certification.
  • Increased assistance to help exporters counter non-tariff barriers and other market access measures.

“Following the recent announcements of Round 4 of the Mobile Blackspot Programme, the acceleration in commitment is welcome because, as many in regional areas know, there are still many blackspots and coverage is becoming increasingly important as the rest of the world goes digital.”

Mr Kerin said primary production was vital to the nation’s success and particularly so in SA, which is highly reliant on food, wine and fibre exports.

“The National Farmers Federation has led the way with the sector’s target to be a $100 billion industry by 2030. Government plays an important role in helping us to achieve that and the Budget shows some buy-in towards this. PPSA members hope that the party which forms government after the Federal Election will see this target as vitally important for Australia’s future growth and prosperity,” Mr Kerin said.