National Farmers' Federation

Prime Minister & Opposition Leader headline NFF Congress

Australia’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, and Opposition Leader, the Hon. Tony Abbott, will address the NFF’s 2012 National Congress in Canberra next month. Taking place at the AIS Arena on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 October, the Congress will focus on the food and fibre boom and the opportunities for Australian agriculture, from grass roots to global. NFF President Jock Laurie said the Prime Minister and Mr Abbott will address the Congress on the state of Australian agriculture from 8:45am on Tuesday 23 October. “The focus of Congress is on food and fibre security and the opportunities ahead for Australian agriculture in helping to feed and clothe the world,” Mr Laurie said. “We will be looking at the concept of a food and fibre boom: is there one in our future? What will this mean for consumers? And most importantly, what will this mean for Australian farmers and the agricultural sector? “We believe that we are on the verge of a food and fibre boom: that the world population is growing, that the rise of Asia brings with it enormous opportunities for Australian agriculture in meeting the growing needs of a burgeoning middle class, and that our knowledge will be as important an export as our produce. “The Prime Minister has herself said that there is the potential for a new golden era of Australian agriculture, given the rise of Asia. “But in order to make this a reality, we need to see Government policy that enables Australian agriculture to both build and secure its position. At Congress, the Prime Minister and Mr Abbott will both have the opportunity to speak about the role ahead for agriculture, and the policies that are needed for our future, in their state of Australian agriculture addresses,” Mr Laurie said. The Congress will take a practical look at some of the major policies affecting Australian agriculture: water reform and the Murray-Darling Basin, mining and coal seam gas, foreign investment and innovation, technology and research and development. Also invited to participate in the Congress are Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon. Joe Ludwig; Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, the Hon. John Cobb; Leader of the Greens, Christine Milne and Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott. Mr Laurie said the Congress provides a platform for farmers to ask questions of our federal leaders. “If your future depends on the future of Australian agriculture, then I strongly encourage you to come to Congress and have your say,” Mr Laurie said. For more information, or to register, visit the http://www.congress.nff.org.au[Congress website].

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