Monday, May 27, 2024

2024-2025 Federal Budget – What it means for regional and agribusiness: NAB

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National Australia Bank (NAB), Media Release, 15 May 2024

Overnight, NAB’s team of leading economists has analysed the 2024-2025 Federal Budget, looking at what it means for regional Australia and agribusiness.

  • The government is allocating $519.1 million from the Future Drought Fund over the next eight years from 2024-25
  • The instant asset write-off for small businesses has been extended by a further 12 months, until June 2025
  • The government will provide $107 million over five years for the phase-out of live sheep exports by sea.

Agriculture

The government is allocating $519.1 million from the Future Drought Fund over the next eight years from 2024-25.

This includes $132 million to continue the eight drought resilience adoption and innovation hubs around the country that connect farmers with new practices and innovations, $83.2 million for learning and development opportunities for farmers, and $36 million in support of farmers’ mental wellbeing.

The government will also provide $107 million over five years for the phase-out of live sheep exports by sea.

This funding for the transition includes $64.6 million for sheep producers and the supply chain (e.g. expansion of processing capacity), $27 million to develop market opportunities and demand for sheep products domestically, and $2.6 million to improve animal welfare standards. This follows last year’s $5.6m spent on an independent assessment of the phase-out.

Relevant to agricultural trade, too, is the $2 million allocated to help Australian agricultural exporters re-establish commercial ties to China, as well as to ‘diversify into other markets’.

With regards to Net Zero initiatives, $63.8 million has been allocated over the next ten years to support efforts to reduce emissions in the agricultural sector. The Australian Carbon Credit Union scheme will also see $48 million put towards its improvement, as part of the independent review of Australian carbon credit units.

Initiatives to build a pipeline of talent for the agricultural workforce also featured, with the government providing $1.0 million for two years to pilot a program that attracts graduates into skilled agricultural work, and $0.5 million to extend the AgCAREERSTART pilot program which targets young people to move into agriculture.

The instant asset write-off for small businesses has been extended by a further 12 months, until June 2025. Multiple assets can be claimed, but the maximum amount per asset is $20,000.

Infrastructure

The government has a large infrastructure pipeline (around $120 billion over a decade), and has given more details of projects following the announcement last year of an independent strategic review into the pipeline.

In particular, $101.9 million is allocated for upgrading regional airports, as well as $40 million for rolling out community wi-fi in regional and remote Australia.

Cost of living

Cost of living pressures continue to be front and centre of mind for Australians, but NAB data continues to show that cost of living stress is higher in the regions than in the capital cities. The budget provides a number of cost of living measures nationwide, including:

  • $300 electricity bill relief for all households;
  • an increase in the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 10 per cent;
  • freezing the price of medications under the PBS for two years for all individuals and five years for pensioners.

NAB’s full 2024-2025 Federal Budget Regional Australia and Agribusiness wrap is available to download here.

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