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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Agriculture

Maintain funding for Quarantine Border Security — ongoing extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Agriculture
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $550.2 million over four years from 2015‑16 to maintain funding for quarantine and border protection activities on an ongoing basis. Funding will continue to be used to provide risk‑based, intelligence‑led interventions for the management of biosecurity and border risks across the passenger, cargo and mail pathways.

The funding comprises $274.7 million for the Department of Agriculture and $275.6 million for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government.

Managing Biosecurity Risks — expanded surveillance and offshore audits

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Agriculture nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp
Department of Agriculture nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will expand its current border surveillance and intelligence activities and increase the audits and assessments of offshore biosecurity systems to better manage risks associated with the increasing complexity of international supply chains and higher volumes of goods being imported to Australia. The expansion of activities will minimise the likelihood of incursions of exotic pests and diseases inside Australia's borders.

Expanded border activities will include: increased surveillance of air and sea cargo terminals; trapping and enhanced testing to monitor for animal and plant species of biosecurity significance; and implementation of a nationally consistent biosecurity intelligence system. Increased offshore risk management activities will include assessing and auditing the supply chain, focusing on verification of overseas governments' systems of biosecurity certification.

The policy will be implemented in accordance with the Australian Government's cost recovery policy.

The expense and revenue are not for publication (nfp) due to ongoing consultation with industry.

Mechanical Fuel Load Reduction Trial

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 1.0 0.5
Department of Agriculture
Total — Expense 1.0 0.5

The Government will provide $1.5 million over two years from 2015‑16 for a mechanical fuel load reduction trial to be funded from within the existing resources of the National Bushfire Mitigation Programme measure announced in the 2014‑15 Budget.

Funding will be provided to undertake a research trial, in conjunction with state governments, which examines the effectiveness of mechanical fuel removal in forests where conservation values could be compromised by fuel reduction burning.

National Food Plan — saving

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Agriculture

The Government will achieve savings of $30.9 million over four years from uncommitted funding from the former Government's National Food Plan initiatives.

Savings for this measure have already been provided for by the Government.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund initiatives associated with the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Smaller Government — Agriculture Portfolio

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Agriculture

The Government will further reduce the number of government bodies in the Agriculture portfolio by abolishing:

  • the Aquaculture Committee;
  • the Community Consultative Committee;
  • the Industry Liaison Committee;
  • the National Decision Making and Investment Working Group; and
  • the Statutory Fishing Rights Allocation Review Panel.

The Freshwater Invertebrate Pests Subcommittee will merge with the Invasive Plants and Animals Committee.

Additionally, the following bodies have ceased operations: the SCAHLS Point‑of‑Care Tests Working Group; and the Sub‑committee on National Forest Health (with its residual functions to be performed by other plant health sub‑committees).

This measure is part of the fourth phase of the Smaller Government reforms which reduce the size and complexity of government.

The Smaller Government reforms are eliminating duplication and waste, streamlining services and reducing the cost of government administration.

Supporting Drought Affected Communities — local infrastructure and management of pest impact

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development 20.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Department of the Treasury 15.0 4.0 4.0 2.0
Department of Agriculture 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2
Total — Expense 35.3 9.2 9.2 7.2

The Government will provide $60.8 million over four years as part of a package of measures to support drought‑affected local communities.

The package includes:

  • $25.8 million over four years from 1 July 2015 to assist farm businesses to manage the impacts of pest animals in drought‑affected areas; and
  • $35.0 million over four years for a local council grants programme for infrastructure projects in drought‑affected areas. Funding will be targeted at projects that offer the greatest potential to stimulate local community spending, use local resources and provide long‑lasting benefits to communities and the agricultural industries on which they depend.

Supporting Drought Affected Communities — Immediate Assistance

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Social Services 17.9
Department of Agriculture 11.1 0.3
Department of Human Services 2.1
Total — Expense 31.1 0.3
Department of Agriculture 5.6 7.6 7.6 7.6

The Government will provide $271.8 million over four years to extend current drought initiatives.

The package includes:

  • $250.0 million in concessional loan funding to continue the drought‑specific concessional loan schemes in 2015‑16 — the extension will provide an additional $150.0 million for Drought Concessional Loans and an additional $100.0 million for Drought Recovery Concessional Loans;
  • $20.0 million in 2015‑16 to extend the access to social and mental health services in communities affected by the drought element of the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Support to drought affected farmers — assistance will continue to be delivered through the existing Family Support and Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) programmes within the Social Services Portfolio, with an extension of services to include additional local government areas experiencing severe and prolonged drought; and
  • $1.8 million in 2015‑16 for an additional ten counsellors to be available to be able to assist farmers through the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

The key features and loan settings for both concessional loan schemes will remain the same, except that loans will now be available in all jurisdictions on an as required basis. The Government will provide funding to state and territory governments for the administration costs associated with implementing the concessional loans.