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Burke welcome in the agriculture portfolio: NFF

29 November 2007

“THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has enjoyed a constructive relationship with Labor in Opposition, throughout the election campaign, and we look forward to continuing that spirit of engagement with them in Government,” NFF President David Crombie said.

“Not only is Australian agriculture an important contributor to the lifeblood of this nation – across economic, environmental and social arenas – it also has a promising future, with new opportunities to be seized upon.

“The effectiveness and prosperity of modern farming will undoubtedly hinge on overcoming key challenges, such as drought and climate change. These are inextricably linked with the national interest and, indeed, the new Labor Government’s pre-election agenda.

“We look forward to working with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and new Federal Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister, Tony Burke, along with their colleagues, in pursuing our vision for a modern and sustainable Australian farm sector – one that not only meets these challenges, but capitalises on the opportunities ahead.

“Testimony to the dynamic nature of modern farming is the extent it cuts across a huge number of portfolios, including: Climate Change and Water (Penny Wong); Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (Anthony Albanese); Environment, Heritage and The Arts (Peter Garrett); Trade (Simon Crean); Employment and Workplace Relations and Education (Julia Gillard); Broadband, Communications and The Digital Economy (Stephen Conroy); Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy (Craig Emerson); Resources and Energy and Tourism (Martin Ferguson), Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs (Chris Bowen); and Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Kim Carr).

“Throughout the year we have welcomed Labor’s proactive engagement with the NFF on key issues affecting all of their policy areas. Indeed, this has seen us work together, having input into Labor’s agriculture policy.

“In the lead up to, and during the campaign, Labor addressed much of the NFF’s rural and technical education, drought relief, water security, international trade and quarantine priorities, and committed to working with the NFF on climate change adaption and mitigation strategies and the need for a strategic transport infrastructure overhaul.

“While differences remain – especially in industrial relations and Labor’s broadband policy, which fails to provide for rural Australia’s future by syphoning the $2 billion Communications Fund’s perpetual investment in the bush to pay for it – it’s business as usual for the NFF.

“The NFF took a proactive stance before, and during, the campaign to unashamedly advance our nation-building platform and hold both sides of politics accountable for a future vision and the prosperity of Australia’s vital farm base. We are committed to making those possibilities realities.”

[ENDS]

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250

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