National Farmers’ Federation President, Fiona Simson has congratulated the Australian Labor Party on its election victory and its intention to form the next Australian Government.
“The NFF looks forward to continuing our productive relationship with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his leadership team on the priority issues for agriculture and the bush.
“Prime Minister Albanese has always demonstrated strong support for our sector’s opportunities and challenges. We were delighted to host the now Prime Minister in person at NFF’s National Conference in April.”
During the 47th Parliament, the NFF is seeking positive progress on addressing agriculture’s workforce crisis; a strategic and funded plan for regionalisation and support for farmers to capture the opportunities of a reduced emissions future.
During the campaign, Labor committed to establishing a long-term funding pipeline for biosecurity.
“This has never been more important as Australia’s stares down outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease in nearby Indonesia.
“We are also looking forward to working with the Albanese Government on the implementation of its highly positive commitments on regional telecommunications.”
Ms Simson said the NFF supported many elements of Labor’s climate change policy and hoped the Government would continue to back farmers’ to continue to implement positive sustainability and biodiversity outcomes in the agriculture landscape.
“Among the priority discussion points with the new Government, will be the representation of Australia’s food, fibre and forestry interests at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference.”
Ms Simson said it was no secret farmers were hurt by Labor’s intention to scrap the coveted Agriculture Visa.
“The NFF has worked across industry to design an Ag Visa that broadens farmers’ workforce options and which best protects our highly valued international workers. Now the dust has settled on the campaign, we will regroup with the new Government on progressing the Ag Visa, especially in light of Australia’s record unemployment figures and the food price hikes impacting all Australians.”
Ms Simson said a sensible approach to water management that delivered for communities, farmers and the environment was also a priority.
“The NFF supports the continued implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, in the manner envisaged: a dynamic document that is adapted to reflect the lived experience.
“We are excited to work with the newly-elected Albanese Government and the expanded cross-bench on propelling agriculture’s growth trajectory to $100 billion industry by 2030 and beyond.”
Ms Simson also acknowledged former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and outgoing Agriculture Minister David Littleproud for their contribution to the farm sector.
“The Morrison Government was unflinching in its support for our industry’s growth ambitions.
“They will leave an important legacy in the farm sector, including record investments in regional connectivity, the establishment of the Future Drought Fund, and important foundational work to give farmers access to new environmental services markets.
“I thank the Coalition leadership – notably David Littleproud and Scott Morrison – for their advocacy for our sector and look forward to continuing our constructive relationship as they enter Opposition,” Ms Simson said.