Insight – Budget 2022–23: Implications for the agribusiness and food sectors

31 October 2022

On 25 October 2022, the Government unveiled its Budget October 2022–23.

The Government aims to build a “more resilient, more inclusive and more modern” economy. For Austrade’s work, the Government focus on addressing climate change, strengthening ties with strategic partners, diversifying trade and investment, and First Nations people, continues.

The Government has made significant funding available for the agriculture and food sectors (major initiatives are described below). It is also allocating:

  • $500 million to the agriculture sector through the National Reconstruction Fund
  • $111.3 million through targeted grants to stimulate regional manufacturing. This will include funding to expand food manufacturing capability and capacity across Australia
  • $2.4 billion to improve the NBN
  • $1.1 billion to increase connectivity in regional and rural Australia.

Agriculture initiatives

The agriculture sector occupies a significant place in the Australian economy. It has a strong track record in exports and attracting international investment.

Major agriculture initiatives include:

  • $61.6 million fast-tracked to bolster Australia’s biosecurity system
  • $46.7 million increased funding for traceability initiatives
  • $204.8 million for the forestry sector
  • $20.8 million to prepare for the next drought
  • $12.3 million to support regional trade events
  • $8.1 million to develop Australia’s seaweed farming
  • $20.3 million to support carbon farming
  • $302 million to invest in sustainable agriculture through the Natural Heritage Trust.

Food manufacturing initiatives

Major food manufacturing initiatives include:

  • $17.2 million to establish a pilot Food Manufacturing Innovation Hub on the Central Coast of New South Wales
  • $12.6 million to support Cytiva’s Springfield BioPark project in Ipswich, Queensland
  • $11.1 million to support upgrades to Ingham’s Sorell poultry facility in Tasmania
  • $10.1 million to support Flinders University’s Factory of the Future in South Australia
  • $6.1 million to upgrade the Waverley Wool Mill in Launceston, Tasmania
  • $2.1 million to support an expansion of the Costa Group berry distribution centre in East Devonport, Tasmania.

National Reconstruction Fund

The Government is working to establish the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. The Fund aims to diversify and transform Australia’s industry and economy.

The Fund will deliver targeted co-investments in independently assessed projects across 7 priority areas:

  • resources
  • agriculture
  • forestry and fisheries
  • transport
  • medical science
  • renewables and low-emission technologies
  • defence capability
  • enabling capabilities.

The Budget also includes:

  • $10 million for Enhancing Australia’s Science and Research Leadership in the Asia-Pacific. The funds, over 5 years, will support the Australian Academy of Science to host the Asia-Pacific regional office of the International Science Council
  • $1.6 million to work with the seafood and hospitality sectors to develop mandatory Country of Origin Labelling for seafood. This will help consumers know if the seafood they order is Australian, while minimising costs and compliance burden on businesses.

Improving connectivity in regional Australia

The Budget will provide NBN Co with a $2.4 billion equity injection over 4 years. The funding will be used to expand fibre and enable nearly 10 million homes and businesses to access speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second by late 2025. This investment will expand full-fibre access to a further 1.5 million premises, including over 660,000 premises in regional Australia.

The Better Connectivity Plan for Regional and Rural Australia will see more than $1.1 billion delivered to rural and regional communities, including:

  • $400 million to expand regional mobile coverage and improve the resilience of communications systems
  • $200 million for 2 further rounds of the Regional Connectivity Program, to improve connectivity in regional, rural and First Nations communities
  • $30 million over 3 years through the On Farm Connectivity Program. The program will extend connectivity for farmers and their machinery, and grow Australia’s agribusiness
  • $20 million for an independent national audit of mobile coverage. This will establish an evidence baseline to guide and better target future priorities
  • a further $6 million over 3 years to extend the Regional Tech Hub. This will support better consumer awareness, connectivity literacy and troubleshooting.

Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility

The Government will retain an additional $2 billion for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to support its regional and Northern Australia agendas. It will also support broader priorities including:

  • meeting climate ambitions
  • investing in manufacturing and renewables to create more local jobs
  • achieving better outcomes for First Nations peoples.

Climate change initiatives

Major climate change initiatives include:

  • $15.9 million to engage with First Nations people on climate change, including establishing the Torres Strait Climate Centre of Excellence
  • $47.1 million to restore the Climate Change Authority and fulfil its new functions established by the Climate Change Act 2022, improving transparency of climate action in Australia
  • $141.1 million to realign investment in carbon capture technologies to hard-to-abate industrial sectors (such as cement manufacturing) and accelerating carbon dioxide removal and negative emissions technologies.

Environment and water initiatives

Major environment and water initiatives include:

  • a record $1.2 billion to protect and restore the Great Barrier Reef
  • $90.0 million to employ and upskill up to 1,000 Landcare Rangers to help conserve and restore the environment
  • $66.5 million to support 10 new Indigenous Protected Areas, as part of the Government’s commitment to protect and conserve 30% of Australia’s land and ocean by 2030
  • $14.7 million to protect cultural and First Nations heritage sites
  • $10.8 million to improve ocean and marine park management in Australia and to strengthen our international environmental leadership in ocean-related policy
  • $91.1 million to improve local waterways through the Urban Rivers and Catchment Program.

Visit Budget October 2022–23 for more information.