Farmers welcome Coalition’s commitment to ag industry

NSW Farmers today said the $147 million commitment by the Coalition to support Australia’s agriculture industry was just the boost of confidence the industry needed.

NSW Farmers today said the $147 million commitment by the Coalition to support Australia’s agriculture industry was just the boost of confidence the industry needed.

Association president Fiona Simson said the timing could not have been better for the industry which had been feeling neglected by government for years despite much talk about the importance of food security and plans.

“We are pleased someone is listening and wants to work with our industry - which feeds our nation – to become more productive, efficient and profitable,” she said.

“It is only by building a stronger agriculture industry that farmers can keep on growing the best food and fibre that consumers enjoy.

“We have already welcomed the Coalition’s announcement about funding native title respondents as well as investment in research and development.

“But I also want to support the summit and white paper announcements which will develop longer term policies for agriculture that will implement greater efficiency and productivity to the benefit of farmers and Australia.

“But I must say we want commitment from the Coalition that this process will happen quickly so we can get on implementing results. There is already a food plan and the National Farmers Federation blueprint for agriculture and we can’t afford to waste another 18 months in the review process.

“What our industry needs is fundamental changes so our nation doesn’t miss out on the opportunities to capitalise on growing world demand for food.

“Farmers have been calling for the federal government to recognise the unique needs of our industry and to remove red and green tape which inhibits productive and sustainable farming practices. This policy is a sign that they have been heard.

“Re-visioning the federal agriculture department so that it is equipped to assist agriculture in production and facilitate competitive markets for our produce should result in a department that is in tune with its major stakeholders that is the farmers it represents in government,” she said.

Ms Simson said that while it is a positive move that the Coalition plans to review the drought guidelines, farmers wanted to know whether it was open to looking at the range of options for the national drought policy or just the guidelines on current measures.

Agriculture education was also tackled by the Coalition which is a priority area for NSW Farmers. Ms Simson said the association fully supported the need for balanced resources on agriculture to support teachers but was disappointed there was no mention or commitment to making it compulsory in the national curriculum.

Ms Simson congratulated the Coalition for developing a suite of policy that sought to deliver for the broad spectrum of agriculture. This included initiatives that would better enable Australia’s horticulture sector to access safe chemicals necessary to produce quality fruit and vegetables and to seek high value export markets. It also included a commitment to ensure science is at the heart of important biosecurity risk assessments.

She added that the association had campaigned strongly with other farming organisations for the establishment of an independent statutory authority to oversee biosecurity as recommended in the Beale report 2008 but it was disappointing that this had not been guaranteed.

Contact: Default

Phone: Default Phone Number

Back to top