Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has released an agricultural white paper, which lists big spending on water infrastructure.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has released an agricultural white paper, which lists big spending on water infrastructure. john mccutcheon

$500m for water infrastructure in ag white paper

A NEW $500 million National Water Infrastructure Fund would be created as part of the Abbott Government's long-awaited agriculture white paper.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will release the long-awaited white paper on Saturday morning, which will also include a new $11 million watchdog for competition in the farming sector.

The water fund proposed would include $50 million to plan for new investments, but state governments would have to contribute most of the remaining $450 million for actual projects.

The paper will also set out the government's priorities for farming policy across issues including competition, water, drought, markets and research areas.

A new $11.4 million Agriculture Commissioner will be stationed inside the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Mr Joyce is also expected to announce a $13.8 million two-year pilot program to help primary producers create cooperatives for collective bargaining, manage contracts and establish new business models.

Other new initiatives expected to be announced include $200 million for biosecurity surveillance and $100 million to extend the Rural Research and Development for Profit program to 2021-22, as well as already-promised spending and tax breaks from the May budget.

. - APN Newsdesk



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