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NFF releases updated 'Vote 1: Agriculture' scorecard
2 September 2013
With only five days remaining until the Federal Election, and following a number of agricultural policy announcements over the past week, the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) has today released its final scorecard, ranking the commitments made by the major parties to Australia's agricultural sector.
The scorecard pits Labor, the Coalition and the Greens against each other, based on the five key policy priorities for the NFF and Australia's farming sector – growing Australian agriculture; investing in research, development and extension (RD&E); increasing competitiveness and profitability; building a stronger workforce; and balancing agriculture and the environment – showing which parties have made the biggest commitments to Australian farmers in the election.
NFF President Duncan Fraser said the scorecard is designed to show farmers which parties had made the most significant commitments, to help them make an informed decision at the polls.
"The release of our initial scorecard a fortnight ago had some surprising results, given little had been said about agriculture in the election campaign to date," Mr Fraser said.
"Since this time, we have finally seen movement from the major parties – albeit to varying degrees – regarding agriculture. Farming has finally become an election issue and our new scorecard reflects the various announcements made over the past two weeks, rating the parties on their commitments to the sector's key priorities, and including their capacity to deliver on their promises and their broader policy stance on issues facing Australian farmers.
"This scorecard shows that one party in particular – the Coalition – has responded positively to the key priorities set by the NFF, our members and Australian farmers. Importantly, this scorecard is not designed to tell farmers how to vote, but rather to provide an easy point of reference on the major parties and their commitments to agriculture," Mr Fraser said.
The scorecard, in its updated form, includes the release of the Coalition's agricultural policy, Labor's 'Fair go for Farmers' plan, and announcements made by the Greens.
"The scorecard has factored in the Coalition's $147 million in funding, including $100 million for RD&E and $2.2 million for native title, as well as the agricultural white paper promised to the sector – meaning the Coalition has scored above the other parties in star ratings," Mr Fraser said.
"We also took into account Labor's announcement last week of a mediator to help finalise the retail code of conduct and the introduction of standardised supplier contracts – but this is only a minor announcement with no new money committed, and thus Labor's star ranking remains as is. The Green's $75 million towards soil health has also been considered – but this is largely offset by the party's renewed push to ban live exports, and thus their star ranking also remains the same.
"Whatever the outcome at this weekend's election, farmers need – and deserve – a Government that considers agriculture as a key priority," Mr Fraser said.
The NFF's scorecard and Election priorities document are available here. The scorecard is also available to download below.
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