Reshuffle must not blur $100 billion vision

Reshuffle must not blur $100 billion vision

Opinion
Newly appointed Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie and former Gilmore candidate Katrina Hodgkinson.

Newly appointed Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie and former Gilmore candidate Katrina Hodgkinson.

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A reshuffle of ministers for the re-elected Liberal-National government cannot alter the goal of reaching a $100 billion agriculture industry by 2030.

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A reshuffle of ministers for the re-elected Liberal-National government cannot alter the goal of reaching a $100 billion agriculture industry by 2030.

This goal is not just important for farmers and regional communities. It is vital for the nation's future. Our farmers are and will be an economic powerhouse for our economy, contributing $60 billion plus each year to Australia's GDP and employing more than a 250,000 Australians.

We look forward to working with newly appointed Federal Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, in advancing this goal through pursuing the coalitions proactive trade agenda, investment in efficient supply chains, and addressing competition issues with tools like the mandatory dairy code.

Farmers also manage more than half the landscape on behalf of all Australians and government recognition of this work is long overdue. The new Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, must work with Senator McKenzie on the Liberal-National commitment to establish a $30 million Biodiversity Stewardship Program to reward and recognise farmers for their environmental efforts.

For farmers in NSW, drought has challenged many as they strive to continue production of high quality food and fibre for domestic and global consumption. David Littleproud's role as Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disaster and Emergency Management recognises the importance of a future focus on risk management and mitigation. Mr Littleproud has experienced the worst of what droughts and floods can do in his 16 months as Agriculture Minister and demonstrated a willingness to listen to farmers.

The election also saw the coalition pledge an investment of $220 million in a regional connectivity program, including the Mobile Black Spot Program.

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