$500m for water infrastructure in ag white paper
A NEW $500 million National Water Infrastructure Fund would be created as part of the Abbott Government's long-awaited agriculture white paper.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will release the long-awaited white paper on Saturday morning, which will also include a new $11 million watchdog for competition in the farming sector.
The water fund proposed would include $50 million to plan for new investments, but state governments would have to contribute most of the remaining $450 million for actual projects.
The paper will also set out the government's priorities for farming policy across issues including competition, water, drought, markets and research areas.
A new $11.4 million Agriculture Commissioner will be stationed inside the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Mr Joyce is also expected to announce a $13.8 million two-year pilot program to help primary producers create cooperatives for collective bargaining, manage contracts and establish new business models.
Other new initiatives expected to be announced include $200 million for biosecurity surveillance and $100 million to extend the Rural Research and Development for Profit program to 2021-22, as well as already-promised spending and tax breaks from the May budget.
. - APN Newsdesk