The Australian Government has announced a further $260.9 million in funding to extend International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) to mid-2022 to maintain the critical airfreight links between Australian businesses and their international customers, which is critical to maintaining the flow of exports and imports.
The Australian Government has now provided a total of $1.04 billion to support Australian jobs and exporters through the IFAM, ensuring a wide variety of Australian produce has reached its international customers.
IFAM will be maintaining global air links in the face of supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. IFAM has already supported 35,000 jobs and 120,000 jobs indirectly reliant on airfreight, reconnected nine Australian ports to 58 international destinations and supported more than 13,000 flights.
Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the extension to International Freight Assistance Mechanism meant producers in Barker had the continued certainty of being able to reach important international markets while they adjusted to the world’s ‘new-look’ supply chains.
“Barker’s producers have an international reputation for clean, green, high-quality, high value produce and this initiative has allowed these products to continue to be exported into key overseas markets. “
“Since April 2020, the International Freight Assistance Mechanism has supported a range of businesses in my electorate of Barker to get premium produce to key overseas markets and into the hands of consumers.” Mr Pasin said.
“Local product such as our Southern Rock Lobster has been given a lifeline through this program following devastating market interruptions with key trading partners.”
“I have been advocating strongly for the extension of this critical program and I am pleased that my colleagues have seen the merit in my argument.”
“Australia is a trading nation and trade creates jobs, drives innovation and underpins our economic growth.” Said Mr Pasin
“We’re backing our farmers by making sure they can get more of their high-quality product into overseas markets,” Mr Pasin said.
“Keeping our farmers and fishers connected with their established international customers helps them to maintain their reputation as a reliable supplier of top-quality food and fibre.” Mr Pasin said.
President of the South Eastern Professional Fishermen’s Association (SEPFA) Tim Harding said “the announcement by the Federal Government of the extension to the International Freight Assistance Mechanism just weeks before the start of our fishing season is a significant boost to the entire rock lobster industry in the south east.”
“Last season, IFAM flights were responsible for connecting exporters with the markets and the consumers that love Southern Rock Lobster, despite the extremely challenging global air freight situation,” said Mr Harding.
“IFAM will again be pivotal to the successful operation of our supply chain throughout the upcoming season.” Mr Harding said.
For more information on IFAM, visit www.austrade.gov.au/ifam.