What does the 2019 Budget mean for farmers, agriculture, agribusiness and rural communities?
We have rounded up 20 key aspects of the budget that may impact and affect you in an easy to digest manner.
1. Future Drought Fund: $3.9 billion
- This was announced in December 2018 and it uses uncommitted funds from the Building Australia Fund.
- $100m will be available from the fund each year from 2020/21 for water infrastructure and drought preparation.
2. Emergency Response Fund: $3.9 billion
- To support future natural disaster recovery efforts.
- Up to $150m will be available each year beginning in 2019/20.
3. North Queensland Flood Recovery Package: $3.1 billion over five years, including:
- Up to $1.75 billion for financial institutions to provide interest rate relief for business loans to flood affected primary producers
- $1 billion for loans through the Regional Investment Corporation to assist in restocking and damaged crops and on-farm infrastructure
- $300 million in grants to primary producers (with a cap of $400,000 per producer) to assist in restocking and damaged crops and on-farm infrastructure
- This will provide family farmers with up to $400,000 for restocking, replanting and on-farm infrastructure across two new grants
4. Farm Household Allowance: Addition allocation of $3 million
- Livestock producers who have been forced to de-stock will be exempt from the income cap limit.
5. Mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct: $8.7 million over 11 years
- Designed to address imbalance in relationship between processors and dairy farmers.
6. Industry access to export markets: $29.4 million over four years.
- Focus on increasing market access, improving access to plant genetics for the horticulture sector, and minimising impact of non-tariff barriers to trade.
- Learn more here.
7. Country Women’s Association: $5 million
- To support those experiencing hardship through drought.
8. Regional road safety: $100 billion over 10 years.
- Focus on meeting the freight challenge, improving road safety and connecting the regions.
- Includes $510 million towards Toowoomba to Seymour corridor and $235 million for the Alice Springs to Halls Creek corridor.
9. Black Spot Program: an additional $200 million from 2019/20 for three years
10. Harvest Labour Services Scheme: $24 million
11. Regional Airports Program: $100 million over four years
12. National Agricultural Workforce Strategy: $1.9 million over four years
13. Beef Australia Event: $3.9 million over three years
14. Biodiversity in Agriculture Pilot Scheme: $30 million
15. War on fire ants: $18.3 million
16. National Drought Map: $4.2million over four years to maintain National Drought Map.
17. Health and Mental Health Support
- $62 million over 5 years to implement National Rural Generalist Pathway and strength primary care.
- Nine extra MRI licences for regional areas.
- $45.5 million invested in new regional cancer treatment centres.
- An additional $2.5 million for mental health support in drought-affected areas of Gippsland, Victoria
- $3 million to improve mental health services to flood affected communities in North and Western Queensland. Learn more about relevant health related announcements here.
18. Instant tax write-off: extended and expanded
- Allows businesses to write off assets against their taxable income.
- It now covers asset purchase up to $30,000 (previously $25,000) and can be used by any business with an annual turnover of less than $50 million ($10 million previously).
- These changes will apply from April 2019 and will run to June 30 2020.
19. Tax rates and relief
- Company tax rate reduced from 27.5% to 26% in 2019/20 and 25% from 2021/22 for companies with annual turnover of less than $50 million.
- Low and middle income earners will receive tax saving of up to $1,080 per person, which can be claimed in your next tax return. From 2022/23, the 19% tax bracket will increase from $41,000 – $45,000.
20. Voluntary super contributions
- People aged 65 and 66 can make voluntary super contributions without meeting the current work test.
- Refer to other superannuation flexibility changes for retirees here.