01 April 2022
When it comes to the big-ticket items for Tasmania the federal budget doesn’t meet Tasmania’s needs for agriculture. The infrastructure spend on water and roads only provides small change for Tasmania. Water is 0.18% of national spending and roads are 0.55%.
Tasmania has an ongoing program of water development. This development has been rolling out for the last 13 years, it is proving to be a game changer for Tasmania and Tasmanian farmers. It is reinvigorating communities, building drought resilience, and helping farming communities to thrive under a changing climate. We are seeing new and high-value industries emerging and expanding in Tasmania because of our irrigation development, such as soft fruits, stone fruits and viticulture. The 14.7 million committed in the federal budget falls a long way short of what Tasmania requires to roll out the next six schemes that are now shovel ready for investment.
Labour is another issue for Tasmania, while there are some skills and innovation incentives in the budget there is nothing added from previous commitments to address the shortages in both seasonal workers and permanent employees. These labour shortages have been significant for many and need addressing.
This budget has missed the mark, this is particularly disappointing as the Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association bought to the Governments attention the upmost importance of increased funding in the Agricultural sector highlighting the additional jobs, increase in agricultural output as well as the additional on-farm investment that would benefit all Tasmanians.
“The TFGA will continue to lobby the Government to ensure that the importance of agriculture in Tasmania and the flow-on benefits within the community are recognised”. Mr Ian Sauer, TFGA President said.