The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has praised the federal government’s focus on budget repair and supporting Australian industry to strengthen the country’s economy and sovereign capacity.
On Tuesday, October 25, Treasurer Jim Chalmers presented the federal budget for October 2022-23.
“AFGC represents Australia’s $133.6 billion food and grocery industry – the largest manufacturing sector in the country – and we look forward to working with the Government to help build strong manufacturing capabilities that will secure the nation’s future,” said AFGC CEO Tanya Barden .
Barden said a number of measures in the budget will support a stronger manufacturing sector, including:
- $135.5 million over 4 years from 2022 to 2023 to develop domestic manufacturing capabilities and skills, including $17.2 million for a pilot food industry innovation hub in New South Wales;
- Tasmanian operations for fresh produce company Costa Group – $2.1 million to support the expansion of its berry distribution center in East Devonport, Tasmania;
- $11.1 million to support the modernization of Ingham’s Sorell poultry plant in Tasmania;
- An increase in the level of permanent migration from 160,000 to 195,000, which will help alleviate the important labor and skills pressures currently facing the industry;
- Supporting regional skills by supporting apprentices in regional and remote Australia under the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System; and
- Support for investment in regions where 40 percent of the food and grocery manufacturing workforce is located.
Barden said the first budget of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government shows a welcome focus on rebuilding Australian industry, which has faced extraordinary challenges in recent years due to COVID-19, natural disasters and disruptions to global supply chains.
“The Albanian government’s focus on investment in industry, regional growth and building a skilled workforce of the future is welcome,” Barden said.
“The Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is a recognition of the importance of domestic industry and sovereign manufacturing capacity to Australia.
“We need to invest in the skills of the future, in a digital, advanced manufacturing industry that is sustainable and internationally competitive,” Barden concluded.
You can read the overview of the Federal budget, as well as budget documents for 2022-23 October. here.