Primary Producers SA have mixed feelings regarding the State Budget. Whilst concerned about the overall deficit and debt situation spelt out in the Budget, PPSA were pleased that Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) have avoided the cuts experienced in recent years. This is an acknowledgement of the primary industry sector’s importance in maintaining and ultimately growing the State’s economy and employment.

Biosecurity and Research and Development (SARDI) remain the two areas of greatest concern. Each show small losses in the Budget papers, but are areas where numbers fluctuate with programmes starting and finishing. These will remain areas of regular discussion between PPSA and PIRSA, as they are vital functions for the industry both in the short and long term.

PPSA Chair Rob Kerin said, “While wary of the overall Budget situation, we welcome the additional allocations to regional programmes and the new initiatives under the Agribusiness Accelerator Programme”.

“Many farmers will be concerned regarding the large increases in the Emergency Services Levy. Some farmers receive many ESL accounts, and these will add up to significant increases”, added Mr. Kerin.

“We would also be concerned with the reduction in funding to NRM Boards and how this may be reflected in the Regions.”

PPSA welcomes the various programs which offer encouragement to food producers. It is also hoped that the new Regional Development Fund will assist in growing the food and wine contribution from the Regions.

“PPSA would again encourage Government to consider the infrastructure needs of the food and wine industries in the regions. While the big projects are currently city-centric, the growth of SA will largely rely on the ability to get our products to market efficiently”, said Mr. Kerin

Contact: Rob Kerin 0439 933 103