The National Farmers’ Federation has outlined five key priorities a future Government must deliver on at day one of its National Conference in Canberra.
Speaking immediately after an address by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and before Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, NFF President Fiona Simson said the 2022 federal election came at a pivotal time for agriculture and the bush.
“Agriculture is on a trajectory of growth. Farmers and our regions continue to power the nation. This was especially evident during the very tough days of the pandemic.
“Our regions account for about 40 per cent of the nation’s total economic output and 90pc of the daily food we consume is produced by our farmers.
“This election, parties seeking to hold office must do more than provide lip service to those outside city bounds, they must commit to deliverying on the priorities identified by the NFF and our members.”
The NFF’s Time to Thrive – Stronger Regions for all Australians platform makes the case for five key actions:
1) $4.1 billion for the establishment of 20 Regional Development Precincts.
2) A $2 billion fund to reward land managers who improve the health of their landscape.
3) A $5 billion Rural Telecommunications Fund to improve connectivity for remote Australians.
4) The fast-tracking of discussions to lock in 10 Ag Visa partner countries.
5) Reform to competition law to protect farmers from unfair practices.
“The NFF’s plan for Australia’s next government is simple and clear. We have seen a tremendous interest in our regions since the pandemic hit, with city dwellers recognising the benefits of the bush,” Ms Simson said.
“It’s time to build on that momentum and create new opportunities for rural industries to close in on the NFF-led target for agriculture to tally $100 billion in farmgate output by 2030.
The Time to Thrive platform was launched to an audience of almost 500 at the National Convention Centre.
Ms Simson set the the scene for a stellar line up of keynote speakers and panelists including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, Shadow Agriculture Spokesperon Julie Collins, Global CEO Nutrien Ag Solutions Ken Seitz, Telstra CEO Andy Penn, ABC Chair Ita Buttrose, Fortescue Metals Managing Director, farmer and philanthropist, Andrew Forrest, Australian Banking Association CEO, Anna Bligh and chef and farmer Matt Moran.
“I am incredibly proud of this year’s conference program which will be delivered face-to-face under the theme ‘Sustaining the Nation’, allowing us to deep dive into the areas of environment, economy and communities and their relationship with agriculture,” Ms Simson said.
“Three years have passed since the NFF released its 2030 Roadmap, a bold vision for agriculture to become a $100 billion industry, and in that time, we have experienced floods, fires, drought, a pandemic and global uncertainty, despite this agriculture is on track to record more than $80 billion in farm gate output in 2022-2023.”
The NFF has written to all major parties seeking a response to the NFF’s #TimeToThrive election priorities. Sign up to receive these responses ahead of polling day at www.timetothrive.com.au