Federal Budget 2024: no surprises for the food industry


Wednesday, 15 May, 2024

Federal Budget 2024: no surprises for the food industry

The Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered a $9.3bn surplus federal Budget on Tuesday, 14 May 2024.

While most will be pleased with the cost of living relief through tax cuts and bill relief, the government’s $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia package could also be of benefit to the food manufacturing industry in Australia. Announced pre-budget, this package is designed to accelerate the transition to net zero by 2050 through investment in renewable energy and backing Australian innovation.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) commended the federal government for the Budget’s twin focus in providing cost of living relief in the present while investing in a Future Made in Australia.

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said: “It is encouraging to see a budget that addresses the needs of Australians doing it tough. It is also commendable for the Budget to invest in Australia’s future with support to industries of the future and manufacturing.

“As the peak body representing the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, the AFGC highlights the food and grocery industry remains one of key national importance. Modernising the food and grocery manufacturing sector through new green technologies is in line with the goals of investing in a Future Made in Australia. This would help futureproof our sector, which supports over 270,000 jobs in Australia.

“Prioritising our food and grocery manufacturing sector through investment incentives would improve innovation, lower carbon emissions, help boost domestic production and grow international presence for Australian-made consumer goods.

“We look forward to continuing to engage with government and other stakeholders to work towards a future for a thriving food and grocery manufacturing sector as part of a Future Made in Australia.”

Wine industry not so pleased

Australian Grape & Wine condemns the lack of assistance for grape growers and winemakers in the Albanese government’s Budget, calling it a “missed opportunity” that ignores industry’s pleas for urgent support.

“This Budget provides no relief for the serious challenges facing growers and winemakers in regional communities across much of Australia,” said CEO Lee McLean. “The industry’s struggles are not the result of normal market fluctuations, but stem from factors outside the industry’s control, including the loss of our largest export market in 2020.”

McLean criticised the omission of the industry’s modest pre-budget submission requests, including a $30 million sustainability package, $36 million for export assistance and $20 million for domestic wine tourism.

“We made it crystal clear — many in regional wine communities across Australia are on their knees and need urgent government action to stop a bad situation from becoming a catastrophe,” McLean said. “However, instead of support, all we got was a new tax in the form of the deeply flawed Biosecurity Protection Levy.

“While China’s decision to lift import duties is positive, it will simply not resolve the issues facing growers and winemakers.

“It’s a damning indictment of just how dire the situation is when the refund on an empty wine bottle is worth more than what many of our growers receive for the grapes that fill it,” McLean said.

For more detailed information on the federal Budget 2024, visit budget.gov.au.

Image credit: iStock.com/vinnstock

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