A history of government handouts

Barnaby Joyce's call for as much as $7 billion in assistance for drought affected farmers comes days after the Coalition rejected a proposal to support fruit cannery SPC Ardmona through a plant restructure. Who have been the biggest recipients of industry welfare?

Barnaby Joyce has called on his government to approve as much $7 billion in assistance for drought affected farmers. The suggestion comes days after the Coalition rejected a proposal to support fruit cannery SPC Ardmona through a plant restructure.

Should the government pick winners? And who have been the largest recipients of assistance?

(Click on graph to enlarge)

From the last set of available figures we can see that agriculture was a significant recipient of government assistance - though it received far less than the power sector, which enjoyed big transfer payments as compensation for the carbon tax.

Roll back a few years though, and the picture is very different.


In 2007-8 the agribusiness sector received over a billion dollars in government assistance, mostly because of the Labor Government's decision to buy back water rights to the Murray-Darling irrigation scheme.

So who has been most helpful to industry in terms of handouts?


Clearly there has been both a spike and drop in government spending. The 2012-13 figures from the Productivity Commission, released this year, should confirm this trend.