$200m Fund To Support Farmers From Paddock To Port In Central Victoria

Farmers and regional communities in Central Victoria will benefit from a new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund that will drive economic growth, create jobs and boost exports from paddock to port.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited award winning Avington Merino Stud to discuss the new Fund, which will be established following the successful passage of the Port of Melbourne lease legislation through the Parliament.

The new $200 million Fund will support investment in agricultural infrastructure and supply chains to boost productivity, increase exports and reduce costs so our farmers, businesses and industries can stay competitive.

It will be available for practical projects and programs that wholly benefit the agriculture sector, including transport, irrigation, and energy projects, as well as skills development programs and market access campaigns.

Eligible applicants will include farm businesses, industry and agribusiness organisations, asset owners such as water authorities and local government.

Agriculture and our farming families sit at the heart of rural and regional Victoria, with our food and fibre industry contributing more than $11 billion to our economy and employing more than 87,000 people.

This Fund will ensure we’re investing in the infrastructure we need to help our farmers and producers in Central Victoria get their goods to market faster so they can take advantage of new local and international opportunities.

Leasing the Port of Melbourne will make our port even better for Victorian farmers, increasing efficiencies and competitiveness, including a significant benefit from the Port’s decision to implement an export discount.

The Fund will be established following the successful passage of the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015 which the Liberals and Nationals voted against in the Legislative Assembly. The Bill is currently going through a Legislative Council select committee.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Food and fibre is the future of our economy. This new Fund will provide concrete benefits to the many thousands of hard-working farmers and regional Victorians that depend on this important sector.

“Before the election, we promised that a Labor Government would lease the Port of Melbourne and we will deliver. The Liberals and Nationals need to get out of the way and allow our farmers get the support they need.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas

“We’ve got some world class primary producers here in Central Victoria and the Andrews Labor Government’s $200 million agriculture fund will help them grow and thrive.”