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Farmers seek genuine government partnership to grow agriculture

11 April 2019

This Federal Election, Australian farmers are seeking the investment and policy leadership agriculture needs to reach its $100 billion potential.

"We have a goal and a plan for Australia’s food and fibre sector to achieve a farm gate output of $100 billion by 2030, up from about $60 billion today," National Farmers’ Federation, Chief Executive Tony Mahar said.

"Farmers are ambitious, highly productive and ingenious – but we won’t get to $100 billion alone.

"We need whichever party forms Government to be proactive and genuinely committed to partnering with us on agriculture’s accelerated success."

The NFF has developed a comprehensive election priority list, headlined by a call for an overall National Agriculture Strategy.

"Agriculture is a powerhouse of our national economy and the binding fabric of our regional communities.

"In producing the food and fibre that sustains our nation and the globe, farmers manage 50% of Australia's landscape, everyday delivering environmental benefits for all Australians.

"Yet unlike other leading industries, we remain without a Commonwealth Government strategy for the future."

The NFF's practical list of election priorities are drawn from its 2030 Roadmap and detailed under 5 key pillars: Customers and the Value Chain; Growing Sustainably; Unlocking Innovation; People and Communities; and Capital and Risk Management.

The NFF’s Priority Asks are:
• Priority Ask: Fast-track ratification of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
• Priority Ask: Establish a $1 billion Ecosystem Services Fund.
• Priority Ask: Act on the Regional Telecommunications Review and fund the Mobile Blackspots Program.
• Priority Ask: Commit to act on agriculture’s labour shortage.
• Priority Ask: Create an internationally-competitive tax system for Australia.

"Agriculture is on a trajectory of growth, but the status quo won’t get us to $100 billion. We need disruption and change to business-as-usual," Mr Mahar said.

"We seek a Federal Government that ‘gets us’. A Government that knows the value of agriculture to our national economy and the Australian identity and shares our vision for its future growth."

During the next five weeks, on behalf of all Australian farmers, the NFF will hold the major parties, minor parties and aspiring independents to account on their response to its election priorities.

"The future is bright for Australia's food and fibre production. Through a bona fide partnership with Government we can reach our $100 billion goal and ensure the continued prosperity of farmers, regional communities and the nation as a whole.

"When agriculture is strong, so is Australia," Mr Mahar said.

Explore our Agriculture: Growing Australian election priorities at farmers.org.au.

Media Enquiries: Laureta Wallace
P: 0408 448 250
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