|We are pleased to announce on 3 July, the Australian Government committed an additional $241.9 million to continue the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), helping keep international freight routes and flights operating until the end of the year.The new funding will keep high-value, time sensitive and perishable exports and vital imports, such as medical supplies and other essential items, flowing as we continue the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. It will also re-establish domestic connections for producers and growers in regional and rural areas that rely on air freight to get their products to customers.
This funding is in addition to the $110 million announced in April to establish the IFAM under the $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund to support regions, communities and industry sectors disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
With few international passenger flights at present, restoring global supply chains has been vital to maintaining relationships between Australian businesses and their customers around the world. Since April, the IFAM has made it possible to keep goods flowing into and out of Australia and has been critical to the nation’s response to the global pandemic.
To date, the IFAM has helped secure carriage for over 36,000 tonnes of products between April and August to 50 international destinations. By reconnecting global supply chains, the IFAM has also supported the import of critical medical supplies.
Even though the IFAM is being extended, it’s important to remember it is a temporary, emergency measure in response to an extraordinary situation.
The extension will give Australian businesses more time to re-engineer their business models and adjust to a new and tougher trading environment created by COVID-19.