Rural Research and Development Policy Statement

Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry released a Rural Research and Development (R&D) Policy Statement on 23 July 2012.

The Rural R&D Policy Statement paves the way for the future direction of Australian rural R&D. It highlights the Australian Government’s enduring commitment to rural R&D, in partnership with industry.

The policy statement is structured around four themes:

  • increased transparency and accountability in the Research and Development Corporations Model
  • improved coordination and priority setting across the whole rural R&D system.
  • an increased range of ways for pursuing productivity growth
  • increased operational efficiencies and value for money on research and development investment.

The statement includes the government’s final response to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) inquiry report on Rural Research and Development Corporations and the Rural Research and Development Council’s National Strategic Rural Research and Development Investment Plan.

For further information read the launch speech (transcript), the policy statement summary or the frequently asked questions.

Legislation amendments

Three Bills to amend rural research and development legislation were introduced into the House of Representatives on 19 June 2013. These were:

The Bills contain amendments to implement the legislative aspects of the Rural R&D Policy Statement. The major changes are to:

  • Allow statutory RDCs to undertake marketing, at the request of industry
  • Extend the arrangements for matching voluntary contributions to all RDCs
  • Introduce funding agreements for statutory RDCs
  • Improve the process for selecting board members for statutory RDCs
  • Remove product specific maximum levy and charge rates from legislation.

The Bills also contain minor amendments to improve consistency of governance arrangements between the RDCs and remove redundant provisions from legislation.