12 March 2020 – With the details of the Government Coronavirus stimulus package now released, the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) welcomes the package and the impact that it will have on the already struggling post farm gate meat industry. AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson says that the industry will benefit from the package at a time when it is suffering from record input costs, including high livestock prices.
“Our red meat and smallgoods processing industry is the largest trade-exposed manufacturing sector in the country and in fact is in the top five manufacturing sectors by size. We also represent 1800 retail butcher shops which define small business within Australia,” Mr Hutchinson says.
“As we emerge from the ongoing drought and bushfire impacts, coupled with the ongoing threat of African Swine Fever, the massive impact nationally and internationally of coronavirus has culminated into a time like no other for the Australian meat sector. The launch of this package then could not come at a more critical time for our range of members.”
“Key areas within the package includes an automatic payment, through Business Activity Statement, (BAS), of $25,000 grants for small and medium sized businesses, up to a turnover of $50 million, a massive help for our independent retail butchers” Mr Hutchinson says. “Further to this for our independent retailers, paying half the wages of apprentices, back dated from the 1st of January of this year, for 9 months total, is a major boost for an industry sector employing thousands of apprentices annually.
“For our larger processing and manufacturing members, Instant Assets Write offs for purchases of equipment for the businesses with purchases of some $30,000 dollars, now increased to $150,000 is extremely welcomed” he says. “As is additional financial support through ‘Assistance for Severely-Affected Regions’ fund, which we look forward to working with the government to create targeted programs. Our members are the largest manufacturers and employers in rural and regional Australia, and this represents to them, if eligible, the respect and recognition of their position in regional Australia they have been striving for with this government for some time now” said Mr Hutchinson.