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23 May 2019

Guy Barnett MP

Minister for Primary Industries and Water

2019-20 Budget: Stronger agriculture and seafood industries to deliver more jobs and opportunities

The Hodgman Liberal Government is a passionate supporter of our farmers, fishers and rural communities, and the vital role they play in building a stronger economy and creating jobs.

The 2019-20 Budget is about maintaining the momentum and investing for growth as we continue to deliver our Agri-Food Plan for 2018-2023 – our comprehensive framework for growing strong and sustainable agricultural and seafood industries.

$100 million is being invested in this year’s Budget to continue a range of initiatives to help achieve our target to grow the farm gate value of agriculture to $10 billion by 2050.

$16 million is supporting industry development across all key agricultural sectors, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Farm Business Mentoring, Blundstone Scholarships, the Tasmanian Women in Agriculture and Rural Youth Tasmanian leadership programs, the TFGA Living Next door to a Farmer Campaign, Agrigrowth Liaison Officers and the FarmPoint website and helpline.

This also includes additional funding to the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture for the Agricultural Innovation Fund for industry aligned priority research projects and to modernise our research farm assets as well as the Stock Underpass Program.

Other initiatives include:

  • $70 million for Pipeline to Prosperity Tranche 3 irrigation schemes in addition to the Commonwealth’s commitment of $100 million, enabling the first phase of at least five irrigation projects to proceed, whilst Tasmanian Irrigation continues with the planning for other proposed schemes;
  • Continuing our very popular On-farm Energy Irrigation Audit and Capital Grant program, and the Tasmanian Irrigation Renewable Energy Project;
  • $3 million to continue investing in Landcare across the State and $4.8 million for the Weeds Action Fund;
  • $2 million towards moving 100 DPIPWE staff to the North and North West which is bringing the Department closer to farming and fishing communities;

The Hodgman Liberal Government is also investing $13.8 million to support our world class wild catch and farmed seafood sector, including:

  • $800,000 per annum over four years to support the new Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre to deliver initiatives in aquaculture and seafood production, marine renewable energy production and offshore engineering;
  • $1 million for Analytical Services Tasmania which delivers product quality testing services to a range of sectors including shellfish and rock lobster;
  • $11.4 million to continue vital commercial fisheries development initiatives including the East Coast Rock Lobster Translocation program, the Fisheries Digital Transition Project for efficient fisheries management and quota monitoring, Abalone Industry Development, Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council policy support and research into sustainable fisheries opportunities through the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS);
  • $600,000 to continue the revamped Shellfish quality assurance and aquaculture market access program (ShellMAP) and oyster and shellfish real time sensor monitoring.

As our economy continues to grow, the Budget supports and encourages initiatives that benefit all Tasmanians by delivering unprecedented infrastructure spending, and the State’s largest ever budget for health and education.