A re-elected Coalition Government will invest $1.2 million over three years in research and development to boost disease control, biosecurity and reproductive capabilities in the Australian thoroughbred industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition will support the thoroughbred industry’s request to establish a research and development levy to help underpin the sector’s future profitability.
“The thoroughbred industry has demonstrated great leadership in coming together with a plan to protect the industry from future diseases by agreeing to collect a levy from thoroughbred horse owners,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said the thoroughbred industry generates $963 million in revenue annually and makes a significant contribution to regional communities.
“A re-elected Coalition Government will support the industry’s plan by legislating to establish the thoroughbred levy by 1 July 2017 and matching it with $400,000 per year in Commonwealth funding.
“Under the thoroughbred industry’s plan, stallion owners will pay a $10 levy per mare covered per season and broodmare owners will pay a $10 levy per mare returned per season.
Minister Joyce said the industry levy and matching government contributions under a re-elected Coalition would raise $2.4 million over three years for thoroughbred sector R&D.
“Research and development is essential to maintain productive, profitable and sustainable agricultural industries, such as thoroughbred breeding.
“Thoroughbred breeders have said the levy should fund research into biosecurity, disease control, and enhanced breeding techniques to support the future profitability of the sector,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Coalition will task the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) to work with thoroughbred breeders to determine research priorities and commission projects.
Mr Joyce said by establishing a thoroughbred levy, the Coalition will also open the door to the industry benefiting from the Coalition Government’s $190 million Rural R&D for Profit program.