National Farmers’ Federation President Fiona Simson has congratulated David Littleproud on his appointment as Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management.
“Having held the agriculture portfolio before and most recently the responsibilities of water, drought, rural finance, natural disaster and emergency management, Minister Littleproud knows the farm sector’s issues better than most,” Ms Simson said.
“Importantly, Minister Littleproud’s appointment will provide our industry continuity during a period of unprecedented challenges.”
The NFF also welcomed Keith Pitt to the all-important Water portfolio.
Ms Simson acknowledged the significant contribution of outgoing Agriculture Minister, Senator Bridget McKenzie.
“In addressing the challenges of drought and bushfire, Senator McKenzie consulted widely to determine farmers’ needs and acted in response. The Senator was a strong advocate for farmers and rural and regional communities – we know she will continue to be into the future.”
The NFF welcomed, at the former Minister’s direction, the establishment of a House Representatives’ Inquiry into Growing Australian Agriculture to $100 billion by 2030 and the Agriculture 2030 Taskforce within the Department of Agriculture.
The NFF is supported by the Government, the Opposition and industry in the pursuit of a $100 billion agriculture sector by 2030.
Ms Simson said to continue to support farmers through drought and in pursuit of the sector’s $100 billion vision, the NFF would be raising a series of priorities with Minister Littleproud at the earliest opportunity.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Minister Littleproud in support of the NFF’s National Drought Policy.
“It’s also absolutely critical that the Government rigorously pursue the interests of our farmers in free trade agreements with the European Union and the United Kingdom and works to build relationships with India.
“We need to continue to invest in strong, sophisticated biosecurity systems to protect valuable international market access and to guard our industries against damaging pests, weeds and diseases.
“A key priority is to continue conversations about financially rewarding farmers for the environmental management they do every day on behalf of all Australians. Farmers manage 52% of our nation’s landscape.
“Government must also work with industry on solutions to agriculture’s labour shortage.”
Ms Simson also acknowledged, Andrew Metcalfe, as the Secretary of the new Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and thanked former Agriculture and Water Department Secretary Mr Daryl Quinlivan.
“Mr Quinlivan provided many years of service to our sector, most recently as Department Secretary where he oversaw major reforms including to the live export industry, biosecurity, trade and drought support.
“I wish him all the very best for the future.”
Ms Simson said she looked forward to working with Minister Littleproud on progressing the policy settings needed to see agriculture through these tough times and onto capturing the significant opportunities before it.
Laureta Wallace – GM, Media & Communications
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