National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson says the Coalition’s Ag Plan proposes wide-ranging investments to back agriculture’s growth trajectory.
“We acknowledge the Coalition’s ongoing support for the NFF-led goal for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.
“The Coalition’s election plan for agriculture includes many of the investments included in the recent Federal Budget, including highly positive commitments to: reward farmers for their biodiversity stewardship; reduce export red tape via new digital platforms and support the development of domestic food manufacturing capability.
“We acknowledge a new commitment to develop a domestic industry code for Australia’s organics industry.”
The NFF continues to call for a sustainable, renewable biosecurity funding stream to arm agriculture and the natural environment against the many and varied pests, weeds and diseases ready to infiltrate Australia’s borders.
“While the election campaign dominates headlines, Australian farmers are confronting the imminent threat of two potentially disastrous livestock diseases in Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease,” Ms Simson said.
Both have recently been detected in Indonesia and are a real and present danger to agriculture, particularly Australia’s industry cattle.
“The seriousness of these diseases and their potential devastating impacts on livestock, producers, communities and the economy cannot be overstated.
“If there ever was a time to throw the kitchen sink at smart, strategic biosecurity planning and funding it’s now.
“Year-by-year cash splashes have a role but must be complemented by a locked-in perpetual funding pipeline that is treated with a seriousness akin to defence and health spending,” Ms Simson said.
“While we support many of the initiatives outlined in the Coalition’s Ag Plan there is always more to do. All parties should be aspiring to achieve the best they can for agriculture, a key sector of the Australian economy and the engine behind regional Australia.
“We look forward to reviewing any other statements in response to NFF’s Time to Thrive election priorities.”