WITH Australia's Federal Budget looming, agricultural advocacy groups are in the process of making their submissions to the Australian Government to ensure money goes where it's needed in the sector.
GrainGrowers Ltd lodged their budget submission last week with their main requests centred around accelerating the nation's grains market development work.
GrainGrowers chief executive officer Dave McKeon said due to market losses around the barley industry in China, there needed to be more investigation into the opportunities in South America and Africa's markets.
"As industry we can only take some of those international trade and market discussions so far as some of those discussions require the lifting of things like technical trade barriers," Mr McKeon said.
"We have seen some great outcomes such as the CBH Mexico malt shipment but we are looking for the government to partner with us to accelerate our market development work."
In a similar vein to market access, Mr McKeon said emerging biosecurity challenges meant the Australian grains industry needed to ensure its biosecurity systems continued to modernise to keep pace.
"We have some specific requests in there around an enhanced and increased biosecurity investment from the Federal government," he said.
Mr McKeon said reliable telecommunications in Australia's agricultural regions also continued to be in the top handful of issues for growers right across the country.
"We've requested that the government put long term investments in place around things like mobile black spots as this has been a recurring issue over the years for those living in regional and remote areas and it really needs to be addressed," he said.
WAFarmers chief executive officer Trevor Whittington said the advocacy group had worked with the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) on their submission which also identified biosecurity, finding new markets for Australia's grains industry and improved telecommunications services in regional areas as key priorities.
The NFF's pre-budget submissions recommendations were summarised under the five pillars of the organisation's roadmap for agriculture to become a $100 billion industry by 2030 - trade disruptions, biosecurity, labour shortages, reinvigorating regional Australia, digital connectivity and responses to climate change.
Included in the pre-budget submission was a request for $630.5 million over four years for trade-related initiatives including building local food and fibre value-add capabilities; improved export supply chains; increased market development activities, and increased departmental resources to improve agricultural market access in key markets.
The organisation also requested a $417m investment to enhance Australia's biosecurity and traceability systems and $50m over four years for climate-related research and development.
With labour shortages hampering the industry, the NFF is also seeking $30m for a centrally managed Seasonal Worker Fund and $52.8m over four years to fund initiatives associated with a National Agriculture Workforce Strategy.
Following consultation with farmers and its members, WAFarmers has announced their State election policy, requesting WA's political parties adopt several policies outlined in this week's Farm Weekly.
Included in their big ticket requests is a $200m investment in a bid to attach $800m of Federal funding to support grain on rail upgrades and $100m to fund an additional 200 mobile towers across the Wheatbelt, Great Southern and South West to improve paddock coverage and help drive 4G farming tech efficiencies, $400m to widen 6000 kilometres of the State's grain highways and secondary grain freight roads with additional one metre shoulders and $200m towards local government annual funding to upgrade restricted access roads to improve grain carting efficiency.
Australia's Federal Budget will be announced in May.
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