Support package transcript
Today I am able to announce the details of our Transition Package. The feedback that we have received from people has been really important in shaping the package.
Around 70% of the ideas that came through that submission through submissions or through those consultations has been incorporated into the final package. And so I thank all of you for your contributions to that.
Today I'm announcing a $17m Transition Package, including a price for electronic tags at 35 cents for the first 12 months. This package is designed to get Victorian producers, and all those in the supply chain, ready for this change. It's an investment in a $2b industry that we need to protect.
Where saleyards, abattoirs and knackeries need to invest in new equipment to meet new regulatory requirements, fully funded grants will be available to offset the costs of these capital improvements.
The $17m in total will include up to $2.8m in grants for saleyards, and up to $150,000 of co-funded grants for livestock agents. Grants for saleyards will include funding for readers, auto-drafters if needed, and essential saleyard modifications.
We'll support livestock agents by providing access to training and equipment to enable them to scan stock. And we're also supporting the producers and the supply chain.
Around $7.7m will deliver cost to neutral tags to producers, and one of the suggestions that we had through the VFF Livestock Group was the need to incorporate a tag buy-back option for people who have already purchased tags for 2017.
So as I said, for sheep and goats born from the 1st of January, the cheapest electronic tag available to producers will be 35 cents. The Government is undertaking a tender for tag purchasing going forward. So once that is finalised we'll be in a position to announce price for 2018 and 2019.
To assist the entire industry to understand their regulatory obligations, training and extension programs will be delivered to support practice change, and to maximise, for those who are interested, the potential benefits to using this technology.
Grant applications are now open. I'd encourage all industry participants to take it up.
Thank you for your input into the consultations.