“The Green Paper identifies the opportunities to make our agriculture sector stronger, as well as the challenges it faces 700 submissions received by government.”
- The Green Paper is an assessment by Government — based on the submissions and their own analysis — of the opportunities and challenges relating to the competitiveness of Australian agriculture.
- It is a precursor to the White Paper on competitiveness of agricultural sector, which was an election commitment by the Coalition.
- The White Paper will be the Government’s policy platform to grow the industry.
“The White Paper will deliver a clear strategy to improve the competitiveness and profitability of the agriculture sector, boosting its contribution to trade and economic growth, and building capacity to drive greater productivity through innovation.”
- The Green Paper outlines “What the Government is already doing”, as well as “What stakeholders proposed the Government should consider”.
- Key policy ideas presented by stakeholders included:
- Infrastructure: Building new transport infrastructure, improving existing infrastructure and transport regulation, enhancing communications.
- Working with the States and Territories: State government deregulation, protecting the resource base, strengthening farm businesses.
- Competition and regulation: Improving market competition, strengthening competition laws, improved regulation
- Finance, business structures and taxation: Improving access to finance, improving tax system efficiency and equity, farm business improvement.
- Foreign investment: Improving transparency.
- Educations, skills and training, and labour: Strengthening agricultural education, strengthening labour availability.
- Drought: Increased drought preparedness, in-drought support.
- Water and natural resource management: Improving water infrastructure and markets, natural resource management initiatives
- Research, development and extension: Strengthening the RD&E system, improving the rural RDCs.
- Biosecurity: Improving legislation, improving the biosecurity system
- Accessing international markets: Strengthening Australia’s overseas market efforts, improving our export and import systems.
- Stakeholders from across the industry were asked to comment on the Green Paper and provide feedback to the policy ideas.
- Submissions for the White Paper closed in December, 2014. It is set to be released in 2015. Watch this space!
“It is farmers who need to make business decisions that will make them profitable and competitive. The Government’s role is to set the right policy environment to support this outcome for farmers and across industries, not to make business decisions for farmers who are far better placed to do so.”