Australian communities bracing for catastrophic natural disasters will soon have access to billions more dollars in recovery funding, with drought and flood-ravaged farmers also given extra support.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is funnelling almost $4 billion worth of unspent dollars from the Rudd-era education investment fund into a re-badged "emergency response" account.
Mr Frydenberg proposes to withdraw up to $150 million each year following a significant disaster, when the government believes there is a need for money above and beyond its normal response programs.
He has also set aside almost $30 million over four years to bolster agricultural exports to key markets.
The package includes $11.4 million to improve market access for horticultural exports, in large part by addressing pests, diseases and import risks.
Another $5 million will be spent on minimising the impact of non-tariff trade barriers.
National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson said the agriculture sector needed support to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.
"Australian agriculture exports 70 per cent of what we grow. Our farmers depend on broad, unfettered market access," Ms Simson said.
"We know there are significant opportunities in existing and new markets by understanding and addressing non-tariff barriers and equipping small exporters with the capacity to get their product to market."
The treasurer has also locked in $5 billion for a "future drought fund" to support resilience projects.
Drought-stricken farmers are being offered $6.3 billion in government assistance and concessional loans.
Farmers recovering from the Queensland floods are being offered $3.3 billion worth of various supports.
"Over the past year drought and flood have taken a heavy toll on our agricultural towns and communities," Mr Frydenberg said on Tuesday night.
"These communities have shown strength and resilience, as all Australians have stood with them."
Flood-affected farmers in north Queensland are being given $300 million to rebuild infrastructure, replace livestock and replant crops.
Family farmers will be able to apply for up to $400,000 each.
To the disappointment of many farmers, the federal budget did not include funding for agriculture-specific visas.
"Farmers are leaving produce on the vine to rot because they just can't source the workers they need," Ms Simson said.
"It's time the government stopped pontificating on this one and delivered the known solution in the form of an ag visa."
Australian Associated Press