The $24.6 million to promote Australian products in markets where free trade agreements have recently been signed; is a step in the right direction. However more could have been done.

If Australia is to truly capitalise on the export potential of the Agribusiness, Food & Beverage Industries, real incentives must be provided to our mid-size operators to reach their full potential. We call on the Government to provide export opportunities that extend beyond small businesses.

Government action needs to be bold and facilitate growth conditions for the sector’s mid-size businesses to maximise export potential, according to Tony Pititto, National Head of Food & Beverage, Grant Thornton Australia.

“While small business emerged the big winner of this year’s budget, we would like to see meaningful tax incentives for mid-sized businesses in this sector with aspiring export earnings.

“Real incentives, such as reducing company tax rates for mid-sized agribusiness and food and beverage exporters, would truly encourage these companies to focus on export opportunities; especially the growing Asian market.

“Company tax reductions for the sector must be linked to exports. This could be done by granting reductions in company tax on export income to those food producers with turnovers of less than $250 million; which achieve export revenues of up to $100 million.

“These measures would undoubtedly encourage a real export focus and growth for the sector, said Mr Pititto.

Development of local infrastructure for the sector was a welcomed announcement to further facilitate the export opportunities.

“While the Federal Government is yet to release its white paper on developing Northern Australia, it has promised to help private developers and state governments get concessional loans, of up to $5 billion, for infrastructure like dams, pipelines and power plants, providing more efficient channels to export and local markets.

“The new $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund will make targeted upgrades to key roads necessary for transporting cattle in northern Australia and provide further efficiencies to market for mid-size operators looking to optimise export opportunities,” said Mr Pititto.

Helina Lilley, National Public Relations Manager, T  +61 2 8297 2421, M  +61 437 725 520, E helina.lilley@au.gt.com