Dairying on the Budget

By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Along with many other rural industries and small businesses the dairy industry cautiously welcomes the 2017 federal budget that was handed down by Treasurer Morrison.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) acknowledges that the federal government needed to strike a balance between the necessities of rural industries alongside the important debt reduction agenda. Despite this delicate balancing act it was encouraging to see a number of worthwhile initiatives and projects get approval or extra funding.

QDO welcomes the 12 month extension of the short term asset write off equipment under $20,000 for business with under $10 million turnover, an increase from the previous $2 million turnover cap. Funding of major regional projects along with the Building Better Regions Fund and the extended eligibility for the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme is also welcomed by QDO.

The budget also included funding for a number of very worthwhile work programmes and initiatives ranging from getting serious about the inland rail project to putting some much needed funding into fire ant control. It was however disappointing that there was no new funding for better telecommunication services in the bush.

Also lacking were any plans to address the ongoing and burdensome energy costs currently strangling Australian farmers businesses. It is a shame this debate still revolves around political games about generation fuel sources when generation remains less than a quarter of costs incurred on electricity bills.

One way QDO is directly assisting members to reduce their electricity costs is through a recent partnership with ‘Make it Cheaper’. This partnership is providing our members with access to comparison across all types of electricity and gas accounts to help identify potential savings. This will be particularly useful wherethe market is offering regional competition for energy supply. This service could allow some members to make significant savings on their energy accounts. QDO is currently disseminating information and I encourage farmers to make the most of this membership benefit. For further information on how to save on your on farm electricity bill call the QDO office.