How the 2017-18 Budget impacts the food industry

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 10th May 2017

The Australian Federal Government says it will be reforming and strengthening the country’s food safety system whilst reducing the regulatory burden for food importers.

Announced last night in revealing the 2017­-18 Federal Budget, the Government’s budget papers said there will be more responsibility on importers to source safe food.

This will require that importers have documented evidence that they are using “internationally recognised food safety controls”.

Appropriate authorities will also be given additional powers to monitor and manage new and emerging risks to the country’s food safety. This includes broadening emergency powers to hold food at the boarder if determined necessary.

“The policy will be implemented in accordance with the Australian Government’s cost recovery policy,” the Budget papers state.

How much money will be invested into the new measures has not yet been revealed with the Government saying it is still consulting the industry.

Further tax increases for smokers

Another budget measure to impact the food and grocery industry is an increase in taxes on roll-your-own tobacco products. Taxes on these products will increase so that they will be taxed at the same rate as regular tobacco cigarettes.

The tax increase will be phased in over the next four years.

Farmers get inland rail network 

Farmers will have an easier time transporting goods around the country with AUD $8.4 billion allocated for an inland rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne.

Construction on the railway is expected to start within the year.

The National Farmers’ Federation said it considered the rail link a win.

“The Government says coupled with private sector participation, this funding will see the project through to completion in 2024-25,” said Fiona Simson, President of the National Farmer’s Federation.

“This is a significant investment in the efficiency of our industry, better connecting our farms with new markets here and overseas,” Simson said.


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