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Industry action agenda to drive competitiveness

14 October 2014

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today welcomed the release of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda by the Prime Minister and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, which backs food and agribusiness as one of the nation’s key competitive strengths.

The Agenda draws on four ambitions that Australia must pursue including: a lower cost, business friendly environment with less regulation; a more skilled labour force; better economic infrastructure; and industry policy that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.

NFF President Brent Finlay said the agenda provides an assessment of the challenges and opportunities that Australian industries will face in coming years, and makes recommendations that will help ensure businesses are not only viable, but flourish in a changing global market.

“In particular, the NFF welcomes the announcement of the Government’s Industry Growth Centre Initiative, which will be rolled out from early 2015, to lift competitiveness and productivity by focusing on areas of competitive strength, most notably, food and agribusiness.

“The NFF has long called for mechanisms to address skills and labour shortages, unnecessary red tape holding the sector back and policy settings that forge closer links across the supply chain and above all, deliver a fair return to the farm gate.

“There are currently a number of major policy initiatives on the horizon and the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda points to a number of these including the White Paper on Tax Reform, Energy White Paper, Competition Policy Review, Productivity Commission Review of the Fair Work Act and the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

“Going forward, we need to translate these initiatives into action, resulting in a stronger, more innovative farm sector and ensuring that Australian farmers remain competitive in a global environment.

“We commend Minister Macfarlane and the Coalition Government for their heightened focus on industry policy and look forward to further cooperation on sector specific initiatives,” Mr Finlay said.

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