Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Support to get Australian produce to export markets

An initiative to help the agriculture and fisheries sector get their product back into key export markets will give local businesses an economic shot in the arm.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed the $110 million investment to establish the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

“Our local seafood and agriculture producers have been hamstrung with reduced, and in some cases no access to export markets because of freight restrictions due to coronavirus,” Mr Pitt said

“Some of our seafood businesses have had freezers full of stock that they can’t send anywhere.

“For them to be able to get their product to export markets is great news for their business and it means more people will be kept in jobs, whether that’s fishers, deckhands or processors.”

The International Freight Assistance Mechanism will initially focus on the key markets of China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE, with four key departure hubs: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

It will be overseen by Michael Byrne, who has been appointed as the International Freight Coordinator General. He will work with Austrade to help establish arrangements with exporters, airlines, freight forwarders and industry bodies plus oversee the mechanism’s operations including advising the Government of destinations, freight selection and prioritisation.

The initiative is part of the Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

In addition, around $10 million in Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) levies will also be waived for all Commonwealth fishers, ensuring they do not have to pay Commonwealth levies for the remainder of 2020.

For more information and to register interest visit: https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/international-freight-assistance

Connect With Keith