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Budget 2007: $7.7 million for international agricultural cooperation.



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DAFF07/B006 - 8 May 2007

FEDERAL BUDGET 2007-08: $7.7 million for international agricultural cooperation

Tonight’s Federal Budget has allocated spending of $7.7 million over the next four years to strengthen Australia’s access to international agricultural markets.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran, said the funding would support the Government’s International Agricultural Cooperation Programme.

“This programme, which started in 2004, has been designed to bolster Australia’s rural exports by providing technical support and improving bilateral relationships with key and emerging agricultural trading partners,” Mr McGauran said.

“The programme has led to successful trade missions with China and stronger commercial and investment links with Indonesia.”

Mr McGauran said the programme had supported the Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme in a number of key trading countries, resulting in a noticeable drop in rejected consignments and a reduced biosecurity threat to Australia.

“New funding has also been earmarked to make sure we are able to rapidly respond to any unexpected and significant market access crises and raise awareness within the Australian community of the importance of international trade for Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries,” Mr McGauran said.

“These new initiatives are vital to maintaining and expanding Australia’s share of the world agricultural market in the face of increasingly stringent technical market access requirements.

“This is particularly relevant to Australia, given that more than two-thirds of our agricultural production is exported.”

The programme will also help to address regional animal and plant health priorities, protect Australia’s biosecurity and fulfil Australia’s international obligations.

Further media inquiries:

Minister McGauran's office: Ben Houston 02 6277 7520

http://www.maff.gov