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AFGC welcomes Federal Budget support for manufacturing

Food & Beverage Industry News

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has commended the Federal Government’s focus on budget repair and supporting Australian industry to strengthen the nation’s economy and sovereign capabilities.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered the Federal Budget for October 2022 -23 budget on Tuesday 25 October.

“The AFGC represents Australia’s $133.6 billion food and grocery manufacturing industry – the largest manufacturing sector in the country – and we look forward to working with the government to help create the 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 2022–23 to develop domestic manufacturing capabilities and skills, including $17.2 million for a pilot Food Manufacturing Innovation Hub in NSW;
  • Tasmanian operations for fresh produce company Costa Group $2.1 million to support an expansion of its berry distribution centre in East Devonport, Tasmania;
  • $11.1 million to support upgrades to Ingham’s Sorell poultry facility in Tasmania;
  • An increase in permanent migration levels from 160,000 to 195,000, which will help ease critical workforce and skills pressures currently confronting industry;
  • Support for regional skills by helping apprentices in regional and remote Australia under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System; and
  • Supporting investment in regions, where 40 per cent of the food and grocery manufacturing workforce is based.

Barden said prime minister Anthony Albanese government’s first budget shows a welcome focus on rebuilding Australian industry, which has faced extraordinary challenges in recent years from COVID-19, natural disasters and global supply chain disruptions.

“The Albanese government’s focus on investing in industry, regional growth and building the skilled workforce of the future is welcome,” Barden said.

“The government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is a recognition of the critical importance of domestic industry and sovereign manufacturing capacity to Australia.

“We must invest in skills for the future, in a digitalised, advanced manufacturing industry that is resilient and internationally competitive,” Barden concluded.

An overview of the Federal Budget as well as Budget documents for October 2022 – 23 can be found here.

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