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The Government has announced its plans to spend $156 million over four years to help farmers recover from the current drought as well as prepare for future droughts. This expenditure includes:
- $50m in 2020-21 for the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme
- $19.6m in 2021-22 to extend the drought function of the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency for a further year
In addition, the Government plans to spend $100 million over two years towards Regional Recovery Partnerships to co-ordinate investments with other levels of government and help support recovery and growth. The government has announced this will occur in 10 regions across Australia, mainly across the eastern states.
Our understanding is that there will be an additional $2b over 10 years to fund projects for water infrastructure and to increase water security. The National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility that was previously announced in 2017 will now not go ahead. We therefore see this plan as a redirection from concessional loans to grant funding, rather than new funding.
While not a specific support to the agriculture industry, the budget does provide $550 million over the forward estimates in support for regional Australia, including spending in the areas of community infrastructure, health, R&D, tourism, regional recovery and digitisation.
Tax and tax planning can be a complicated and evolving process – it’s important to have an accounting partner who knows the game, is across all legislation and understands your situation and what you want to achieve. If you would like to know more about our tax planning services and how you could reduce your tax exposure, please call our office on (08) 8172 1444 or email our friendly team.