Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, said the White Paper promises to cut red tape and boost trade, R&D, competition and productivity - resulting in better returns for our fisheries and aquaculture industry.
“We are committed to providing the best possible regulatory environment for our producers and will establish a Productivity Commission inquiry into red tape affecting fisheries and aquaculture at all levels of government.
“This work will be complemented by A$20.4 million additional funding to streamline the approval of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, to further cut the cost of doing business for the aquaculture sector.
“Our enviable biosecurity status is a key element of our seafood exports and the government is investing a further A$200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis and A$12.4 million to modernise our traceability systems.
“We’re committed to the best research and development to boost productivity, which is why we’re doubling our A$100 million investment in the Rural R&D for Profit Programme to enable it to continue until 2021–22. Australian fisheries are recognised among the best managed and most sustainable in the world and this will continue under our science based approach.
“We also have producer-specific priorities to better target funding, and better governance of our Research and Development Corporations. All this means better research outcomes and value-for-money for our research dollars.
“The White Paper is boosting competition in the sector by establishing an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner dedicated to primary industries and supply chain issues.
“The Government recognises the importance of market access for our premium products and we have allocated A$30.8 million in new funding to help us tackle technical barriers to trade and grow as well as maintain markets through five new overseas counsellors.
“The Government is also developing a National Aquaculture Strategy and work is well underway, with the National Aquaculture Statement released last year. This demonstrates a commitment to the growth of an efficient, innovative and sustainable domestic aquaculture industry.
“The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is a significant investment in our nation’s future and it’s an investment that recognises the importance of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.”