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VFF welcomes stimulus package but wants to make sure Victoria gets fair share

By Rodney Woods

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says agricultural businesses will benefit from the Federal Government’s economic stimulus
package in the wake of the coronavirus.

Mr Littleproud said agriculture, fisheries and forestry would get a boost from a number of measures in the package designed to support economic confidence, encourage investment and protect jobs.

“One billion dollars will be directed to a regional and community fund to support industries including agriculture impacted by coronavirus,” he said.

“This will help farmers from fishing communities in Geraldton to dairy businesses of Bega.

“The instant write-off threshold has been increased from $30 000 to $150 000 for businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million.

Mr Littleproud also said there were accelerated depreciation deductions to encourage investment for the next 15 months.

“Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct an additional 50 per cent from asset costs in the year they were bought,” he said.

“If you were thinking about whether to invest in your agricultural business, here’s added incentive.”

VFF president David Jochinke said support would be needed for Victoria’s agricultural sector, which contributes almost one quarter of the nation’s total agricultural output and more than $14 billion to the Victorian economy.

“We have a strong competitive advantage across multiple agricultural industries including a global reputation as a source of clean, safe food and fibre, diversity of products, a long history of excellence in research and development, growing export markets and a strong biodiversity security system,” he said.

“We know there are now very strong headwinds for our industry.

“The impact of drought and bushfires was obviously devastating and now the deleterious impact of coronavirus will kick the industry while its down.

“It is pleasing to see governments working together to address the impacts of bushfires and coronavirus and the VFF will work in partnership to secure the future of our agricultural industry.”