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New Program To Give Australian Agribusiness A Help

HON WARREN TRUSS MP

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

15 AUGUST 1999

AFFA99/10WT

New Program To Give Australian Agribusiness A Helping Hand

The Government's $3.1 million New Industries Development Program (NIDP) is a step closer to helping Australian agribusiness companies develop new exports or replace costly imports, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, said today

Mr Truss said the NIDP Working Group's first meeting in Canberra this week agreed to guidelines for funding what will be known as Pilot Commercialisation Projects (PCP).

"Under the PCP process, the Government will provide matching funding, up to $100,000, for pilot projects to help boost opportunities for new Australian exports or locally produced products to replace imports," Mr Truss said.

"The successful projects will need to demonstrate trade success within three to five years."

Mr Truss said the NIDP is part of the Prime Minister's Supermarket to Asia (STA) Council and provides high-level, strategic and commercial advice. It is managed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry - Australia (AFFA).

"The NIDP is about focussing on new business opportunities, developing skills and strengthening commercial links in order to significantly improve Australia's long-term position as a global food supplier," Mr Truss said.

"The Program is also fortunate to be able to call on the expertise and experience of a Working Group whose members have an excellent track record in helping to set up new industries and business opportunities."

STA Council member, Malcolm Irving, chairs the Working Group. The other members are:

Keith Gordon, Wesfarmers Dalgety Seedtech;

Ray Collins, Queensland University-Gatton;

Tony Byrne, Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation;

Barry Westlake, Australian Stock Exchange;

Peter Shelley, Asia Pacific Pty Ltd;

Wendy Morgan, Goodman Fielder;

Lyndel Jack, Austrade; and

John Sainsbury, AFFA.

Guidelines, as well as selection criteria and application forms, will be available by the end of this month.

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