Andrews Labor Government Puts Victorian Farmers First

Overview

Minister for Agriculture media release 27 April 2016.


Victorian farmers are poised to reap the rewards of investments in biosecurity measures, produce transportation and regional infrastructure, under the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Budget 2016/17.

Our food and fibre has a global reputation for quality and we are going to keep it that way, by investing $25.6 million in crucial biosecurity measures, including fruit fly control and detection and analysis equipment.

We will also work with farmers to ensure they continue to capitalise on opportunities in the Asian market by improving market access. 

Farmers will be able to get their produce from paddock to port more efficiently with an $8.5 million co-investment for upgrades to State-owned rail sidings. The upgrade will see an additional 500,000 tonnes of grain per year being transported by rail, reducing annual road maintenance and accident costs by about $2.2 million.

Support for drought affected farmers will continue, with additional funding for Rural Finance. We know that farmers are doing it tough. That’s why we are investing $5 million for the Rural Financial Counselling Service, to maintain the 35 rural financial counsellors across our state, which builds on the additional resources already provided in the Drought Package.

This investment builds on the Labor Government’s significant drought package and will see the highest investment in regional infrastructure on record.

The Budget also includes:

  • $6.2 million to extend the fox bounty for a further four years and double aerial baiting to both Autumn and Spring for wild dog management.
  • $7.3 million to support the supply of quality medicinal cannabis products for the first patient group in Victoria and support the establishment of a commercial industry in Victoria.
  • $27.0 million towards the removal of commercial netting in Port Phillip Bay, where 33 of the 43 Port Phillip Bay licence holders have accepted the Government’s compensation package to exit this April.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“Farmers have long called for crucial infrastructure to make the process of getting produce from paddock to port quicker – we’re getting it done.” 

“Victorian agriculture is a $12 billion industry and we want to grow that. This is about making smart investments in our agricultural industry that will create job and keep farmers on the land.” 

“The Rural Financial Counselling Service will continue to provide free, rural financial counselling advice to farmers, fishers, foresters and small agriculture dependent rural businesses. This initiative gives farmers a helping hand when they need it most.”