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Time Government Came Clean on Hort Code Intentions

4 September 2006

The Federal Government’s willingness to make farmers wait on whether it fulfils or reneges on its election pledge to mandate a Horticulture Code of Conduct is being seen as a slap in the face by growers.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Horticulture Australia Council (HAC) have worked tirelessly with the Government to deliver its 2004 election promise and mandate a Code of Conduct (promised by the Government within 100 days of returning to office) to restore transparency and confidence to the horticulture supply chain.

“The failure of the Government to get its act together on the code is fuelling speculation among farmers that the Government intends to renege on its election promise,” NFF Vice-President Charles Burke said.

“NFF and HAC have been consulting in good faith with the Government for two years on this issue, with nothing to show for it. We expect the Government to deliver the code as promised.

“It beggars belief that the Government hasn’t put this issue to bed, ensuring contractual clarity within the industry, as it promised.

“Turning its back on farmers would raise serious credibility issues for the Federal Government just 12 months out from the next election, and such a back-flip would be foremost in our members’ minds.”

NFF and HAC continue to reiterate the concerns of farmers to the Government, amid growing frustration at unnecessary delays.

“Growers are hurting and as a result are becoming increasingly frustrated and angry over the Government’s seeming willingness to stall on delivering its election promise,” Mark Panitz from HAC said.

“The time for waiting is over. We expect the Government to meet its commitment immediately. Neither HAC nor the NFF have any intention of going over old ground or entering into a new round of discussions… we want what we were promised.”

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan, NFF Public Affairs, (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250 email:

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