SA Dairyfarmers’ Association (SADA) reviews Federal Budget

Posted on May 14, 2017


It is a mixed bag - the SA Dairyfarmers’ Association (SADA) welcomes a number of measures contained in the federal budget handed down this week while other matters are of concern.

The Instant asset write off has been extended for 12 months – Businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million will remain eligible for accelerated depreciation arrangements for assets valued at less than $20,000 until 30 June 2018. This extends the instant asset write off for 12 months and also widens the eligibility.

Extended eligibility for the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme could be a positive. Farmers and their partners who have received their full entitlement for Farm Household Allowance and do not receive other income support could be eligible for loans up to 50 per cent of their debt position, up to a maximum of $1 million for refinancing purposes.  The funding of an election commitment to establish the Regional Investment Corporation will streamline the delivery of concessional loans in South Australia.

SADA is concerned that the increased visa charges (Skilling Australians Fund Levy) for businesses who employ overseas workers will have an impact on many dairy businesses. Many have been required to employ overseas workers over the last decade as it has become more difficult to find local employees. Now is not the time for the government to be adding extra taxes on dairy businesses.
It is disappointing that there is no new money for mobile phone blackspots. There is also no recognition of the “data drought” experienced by many dairy businesses and others in regional Australia.

The Australian Livestock Exporters Council will receive $8.3 million to implement the Livestock Exports Global Assurance Program (LGAP).

The funding allocated for Bioregional assessments and for Energy for the Future is a clear recognition of dairy farmer concerns about the risk to farmer’s land and water resources posed by unconventional gas development.

 The Federal Government has promised $1.1 billion to the Landcare program over the next seven years. This includes the extra $100 million announced last December, promised as part of a deal to win the Greens’ support for the contentious backpacker tax. Of that $100 million, $85 million has been allocated for on-the-ground projects by Landcare groups; to support the work of Landcare Australia and the National Landcare Network; and for sustainable agriculture grants.

Regional Growth Fund - $272 million over four years for major regional projects to support structural adjustment and $200 million for the Building Better Regions Fund may have benefit to dairy regions into the future.