ADIC reiterates need to implement China-Australia FTA in 2015

Jul 31, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has reiterated the importance of ratifying the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) within the 2015 calendar year, to ensure the benefits can reach Australian producers as quickly as possible.

Any delay in implementation of the deal beyond 31 December 2015 will cost Australian dairy between $20 million and $60 million in tariffs. This will make it more difficult for the Australian industry to compete and gain further market share.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said while the council recognised that debate about the ChAFTA is part and parcel of a vibrant democracy, the Parliament needed to keep in mind the opportunities at stake for agriculture and food production.

“For Australian dairy to grow and invest in our future profitability, we will require markets that offer a way forward and match our progress,” Mr Campbell said.

“China’s population is set to reach 1.6 billion by 2050 offering enormous opportunity to sustainably grow beyond domestic markets. Our opportunity in China is underpinned by their demand for high quality, safe, value-added products such as infant formula.

Mr Campbell reiterated that parliamentary support for the agreement, that sees the removal of all tariffs on dairy imports over a decade, remains essential.

“With a long record of innovation and adaptation to changing conditions and markets, Australia’s dairy producers are in a strong position to meet the particular demands of boosting exports to China and growing our market share,” Mr Campbell explained.

The Australian dairy industry has had a long and close relationship with China and ChAFTA will allow our industries to further develop this long-term relationship to the mutual benefit of both countries.

Timing is of the essence. If farmers are to maximise benefits from the removal of tariffs then the deal must be implemented in this calendar year.”

The ADIC looks forward to working with both sides of Government to ensure the implementation of the ChAFTA by 31 December 2015. 

 


Increased transparency for ag land purchases

Jul 20, 2015

Foreign investment has historically been an important source of support for the Australian dairy sector. The dairy industry is strongly supportive of all investment, foreign and domestic, that helps the industry grow and prosper provided it adheres to the same regulations.

On 1 March 2015, the Federal Government announced a reduction to the screening threshold for agricultural land from AU$252 million to AU$15 million. The new threshold will include the cumulative value of agricultural land owned by the investor and the purposed purchase. An AU$55 million threshold for investments in agribusiness will be introduced 1 December 2015.

A step towards a register of foreign owned farmland is also underway, with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) collecting information on all foreign purchases, regardless of size from 1 July 2015. The ATO will also be auditing existing ownership of agricultural land by foreign investors to gain further insights into the investment landscape.

ADF President, Noel Campbell said the register would help increase transparency and give industry a better idea of what foreign investment really looks like in the dairy sector.

“The register is sound policy and will hopefully provide credible land ownership data to give us a comprehensive landscape of investment in agriculture across Australia,” Mr Campbell said.

ADF supports the government’s recent initiatives to improve the robustness of the investment landscape in Australia which recognise the important role of our global partners in helping the dairy industry to grow and strengthen.  


Budget offers mixed bag for dairy

Jun 16, 2015

The 2015 Federal Budget announced on 12 May, delivered modest gains for agriculture. With initiatives aimed at supporting rural and small businesses such as tax breaks for those with annual turnover under $2 million, social and community support services for rural Australians, and drought relief assistance, dairy came out slightly better off than the year before.

On 27 May, ADF welcomed the announcement from Federal Government that it would bring forward the introduction of accelerated depreciation of fodder, fencing and water assets to the night of the Federal Budget, as opposed to 1 July 2016. This decision will greatly benefit farmers who have been recently impacted by severe floods and drought. ADF acknowledges the considerable effort of the Hon. Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture, in making this happen.

Key gains for dairy in the 2015 budget:

•Tax write-offs for fences and new water storage
•$25 million for assistance for drought affected areas to reduce the impact of pest animals
•$20 million towards social and community support services for emotional impacts on farmers. And an extra $1.8 million for more counsellors.
•Cattle Farmers in the north will see $101.3 million over the next four years for improved road infrastructure
•$25 million to towards assisting Australian producers access the benefits of free trade agreements
•Tax burden for small business will be reduced to 1.5 per cent for businesses with annual turnover under $2 million
•A 5 per cent tax discount for smaller, unincorporated businesses
•An immediate tax deduction of all assets under $20,000 will allow small businesses to invest in new tools or machinery.
•$3.7 million allocated to implement recommendations from the review into the integrity of the 457 Visa Program.

The budget also included money for drought grants and loan schemes, however, this is the same money that was previously allocated but not spent.
ADF would have appreciated the budget also address the lack of Agricultural Counsellor postings to assist with reducing technical barriers to trade within key international dairy markets. We also would like to have seen further Investment in agriculture R, D&E, CRCs, infrastructure for rural regions and biosecurity.

There is still an opportunity to address these issues in the upcoming Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. ADF will continue to advocate and work with government to help ensure the budget allocations are used to maximise its benefit for the dairy industry. 


Select Tags