Our farmers and country communities remain at the core of Australia’s economy and identity.

We are working to ensure regional Australia can thrive and prosper.

Our policies are boosting regional industries, growing regional economies and improving infrastructure and services to better connect our regions.

A re-elected Morrison Government will:

  • Boost digital connectivity in regional Australia, including eliminating mobile blackspots across 1 million square kilometres by 2025 (an area larger than the size of South Australia).
  • Invest $15 million for five more Regional Study Hubs.
  • Invest $2 million in the Country Education Partnership's Rural Inspire initiative.
  • Invest in the right infrastructure to connect communities, industry and producers to markets, and to make travel safer.
  • Provide further funding through programs that are targeted at improving the regions, such as the Building Better Regions Fund.
  • Deliver new Regional Deals to drive local economic growth and create jobs.
  • Continue to deliver on our decentralisation agenda.

The Morrison Government's vision is for a regional Australia that provides secure job opportunities, access to the best education choices, quality health services and reliable telecommunications.

MORE JOBS IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

In the first five years of the Liberal and Nationals Government, employment has grown by over 200,000 outside capital cities.

BACKING FARMERS

Around 70% of our agricultural production is exported. We have secured more export opportunities with 10 major economies through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

We are benefiting from agreements with China, Japan, South Korea, Peru, Indonesia, Hong Kong, plus Pacific Island nations. We’re working to deliver a new agreement with the EU, and together with the UK are committed to negotiating an Australia-UK FTA as soon as the UK is in a position to do so.

Our 2015 Agriculture White Paper put in place a long term plan to help farmers, backed by $4 billion in funding, for:

  • Farm Business Concessional Loans.
  • Accelerated depreciation to help investment in fencing.
  • Water reticulation and fodder storage.
  • Stronger biosecurity and control of pest animals and weeds.
  • New investment in R&D.

We have introduced Country of Origin Labelling laws so Australian customers can see which products are Australian made and contain Australian ingredients.

To support Australian farmers with labour shortages, we are making the Working Holiday Maker Visas and the Seasonal Worker Program more flexible.

The Government has committed over $6.3 billion for drought relief and recovery.

A re-elected Morrison Government will:

  • Invest $3.9 billion in the Future Drought Fund to prepare for future droughts.
  • Continue to ensure the Farm Household Allowance is fit for purpose, making the $5 million farm assets test for Farm Household Allowance permanent.
  • Create a new restocking and replanting concessional loan through the Regional Investment Corporation with a 2-year interest free period.
  • Establish a $7 million Drought Communities Small Business Support Program that provides a Rural Financial Counselling Service to support small business.
  • Provide extra support by providing $1 million each to an additional 14 local council areas experiencing severe drought through the Drought Communities Program.

WATER SECURITY

The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund has had a $500 million top up.

We are fast tracking investment through this Fund and the $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.

In addition to $13 billion for water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin, the Government has committed funding to the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative.

A re-elected Morrison Government will also establish the National Water Grid which will plan and project manage water policy and water infrastructure across the nation.

LANDCARE

We are investing around $1 billion over five years in Landcare.

This includes the Regional Land Partnerships, which restore wetlands, protect threatened species and improve soil health on farms.

REGIONAL ROADS AND RAIL

Our record $100 billion investment in infrastructure includes major road and rail upgrades to better connect regional communities.

An historic investment of $9.3 billion in Inland Rail will change the way freight is moved between Melbourne and Brisbane, while boosting local economies and jobs.

We are also investing $2.3 billion to upgrade regional passenger rail lines in Victoria, and $390 million to duplicate and upgrade the North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Nambour in Queensland.

To build, repair and upgrade local roads, we are both continuing and increasing our investments in the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot, Heavy Vehicle Safety & Productivity and Bridges Renewal programs.

We have also established a $4.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance initiative which will upgrade key freight routes and help agriculture and mining exporters.

REGIONAL COMMUNICATIONS

The NBN rollout is 99% complete or under construction in regional Australia.

Our Mobile Black Spots Program is delivering 1,047 new mobile phone towers and coverage to almost 40,000 more homes and businesses.

The Government has provided an additional $220 million in the 2019-20 Budget for a Stronger Regional Digital Connectivity package, including:

  • $160 million for two additional rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program
  • $60 million for a new Regional Connectivity Program that will provide targeted investments to regional areas
  • Establishing a digital tech hub to improve digital literacy

RURAL AND REGIONAL HEALTH

Australians living in rural and regional Australia have access to new services including new regional cancer centres, telehealth services and increased opportunities for Australia’s rural and regional health workforce.

Our $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy is delivering 3,000 additional doctors and more than 3,000 additional nurses and allied health professionals in rural general practice over the next decade.

REGIONAL EDUCATION

The Liberal Nationals Government recognises the needs of young regional Australians undertaking education.

We back regional students with funding and access. Last year the Government provided more than $1.6 billion for students at regionally headquartered universities and over $420 million extra funding to school kids in regional areas.

We have given over $400 million support rural and regional students to go to university by expanding access to sub-bachelor university programs, creating more regional study hubs, providing additional scholarships and improving access to Youth Allowance for regional students.

We have also committed more than $70 million to provide greater education opportunities for Indigenous secondary school students.

SHOWCASING AGRICULTURE

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest in two new programs to bring our kids and our farms together. We will fund school student visits to farms and establish up to 80 mobile ‘mini farms’ in urban based schools to take farms to kids.

A re-elected Morrison Government will also establish a new Regional Agricultural Show Development grant program. This will help keep our agricultural shows running, help bring communities together and help bridge the divide between country and city.

STRONGER AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY SECTOR

The Morrison Government has a plan to lift Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to a $100 billion industry by 2030. The industry has a roadmap to do this – our policies will help get them there.

A $100 billion industry means many more jobs in our regional and rural communities.

Our plan to help the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector reach its potential is focused on:

  • Tackling barriers to growth and production.
  • Providing the water needed for growth and drought proofing.
  • Tackling intergenerational land transfer and encouraging new farmers.
  • Expanding exports and improving market access.
  • Getting the balance right for the fisheries and forestry industries.

There are challenges, but we’re addressing these too: pests and weeds, external biosecurity threats, climate impacts, changeable consumer preferences and international competition on research and development and commercialisation.

Information current as at May 2019