Last week marked three months since the release of the Coalition Government’s $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. This Paper contains a range of initiatives designed to deliver practical support to the agricultural sector.
I am very pleased to report that implementation of programmes and policies under this Paper is progressing well with farmers across my electorate already benefiting from some of the initiatives announced earlier this year.
Since 12 May 2015, farmers have benefited from the Ag White Paper measures delivering fairer tax arrangements for fencing, water infrastructure and fodder storage assets. This includes access to simplified accelerated depreciation arrangements for fencing allowing farmers to immediately tax deduct the cost of new fencing in the first year of purchase.
In addition to this, farmers can now also claim immediate tax deduction of the cost of new water infrastructure and accelerated three-year depreciation of capital expenditure on fodder assets.
The Drought Communities Programme is also taking effect with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development currently assessing project proposals from declared Local Councils of drought affected communities including Brewarrina, Walgett and Coonamble.
This $35 million programme will fund job-creating local infrastructure initiatives in an effort to build greater economic resilience for these drought affected communities into the future.
I am confident that local farmers across my electorate will benefit in some way from the wide range of initiatives contained in the Ag White Paper.
For more information about the Paper, please visit http://agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au/
Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP has officially launched the start of consultation on the Australian Government’s clinician-led review of all 5700 items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) as part of its plans to build a healthier Medicare.
I encourage anyone who has undergone a Medicare-funded service, procedure or test they considered to be unnecessary, out-dated or even potentially unsafe in recent years to have your say at www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/MBSReviewTaskforce.
I also call on our local doctors and other health professionals to also visit this site and have their say on any particular Medicare items, rules and regulations they feel need to be updated or removed to reflect contemporary clinical practice.
National Carer’s Week 2015 will run from 11 to 17 October 2015 giving all Australians the opportunity to raise community awareness of the significant role Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers play within our communities.
I take this opportunity to thank the thousands of fantastic people across my electorate who provide care and support to others. Your contributions make a huge difference to the people you care for their families and the community as a whole.