Primary producers have told us what matters to them when it comes to what will win their vote in the upcoming federal election.
Water infrastructure, farming inputs, health and manufacturing were at the top of the list when The Land team put the question to Sydney Royal visitors: What's the biggest election issue facing agriculture?
Walcha Merino Breeder Paul Pittman said he wanted to see more money spent on water infrastructure projects.
"It is paramount to have food and water security and greater flood mitigation," Mr Pittman said.
"We need to store more water for the dry times, which will come again. It is important to have more water in the bush for industry and agriculture to support the regional communities and national economy."
Emma Bailey from Tamworth also agreed water would be a big election issue, saying governments should be spending money on preserving water, not getting rid of it. In her own backyard, she said governments needed to either get on building the Dungowan Dam, or not.
"We should be looking at how we can get water from wetlands like Sydney as a dam can only be filled by water which comes from rain, and if we don't have rain we have a mud pit, we need to look at smarter ways to preserve water," Miss Bailey said.
Take our election survey: Tell us what your top three election issues are
For Brent Flood, Marnoo, Victoria, the cost of living was a huge problem regardless of where people lived.
"In the ag sector the price of fuel and inputs is being particularly felt," Mr Flood said.
"I would really like to see Australia's shipping lanes improve because importing things like equipment is really difficult at the moment and it's having an impact on so many people in the industry."
Manufacturing is a key issue for Peter Cook from Coolah.
"I think we could support our own country a bit more - we export a lot of coal and gas. With imports we've been losing a lot of manufacturing. It seems to have all gone offshore (like steel). I think the government should be leaning towards more manufacturing in Australia," Mr Cook said.
Meanwhile, for David Spencer, Rutherglen, Vic, national security was at the top of his list.
"We are a country rich in agricultural resources and other powerful countries such as China and Russia can not be ignored. The Coalition seems to understand this, however, I don't think Labor does," Mr Spencer said.
Related reading: NSW Farmers' president calls out gaps in parties' ag policies
Ross Johnstone, of Lyndhurst, said the government needed to get on with the Inland Rail.
"It's going to be better for everybody, it'll be good for the whole eastern seaboard. And re-do the Bells Line of Road. If they'd have done a proper freeway through there, we'd be trucking faster and wouldn't have all the problems with landslides now," Mr Johnstone said.
Glen Innes' Albert Hancock was full of praise for the current Coalition government.
"I reckon they've (the government) done a bloody good job. We've had bushfires and drought and they've helped with that. They probably made a fumbling with COVID-19 and when you look at the floods in Lismore, that's going to hurt them a bit," Mr Hancock said.
Niaomi Evans, of Nagol Park Shorthorns, Tamworth, said there needed to be better access to services like schools, hospitals and mental health support.
While Glen Pfeffer, of Mogul Brahmans, Casino, said there needed to be more government fuel rebates for primary producers.
"The Liberals need to be supported in their successful policies in regards to managing the economy for farmers," Mr Pfeffer said.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the biggest election issue was the availability of agricultural labour and that the Coalition had delivered the ag visa with Vietnam the first nation to sign up to it.
"The ag visa will provide a reliable and sustainable workforce to grow the agricultural industry, bringing new wealth to regional and rural Australia," Mr Littleproud said.
"The government has achieved this historic outcome despite the actions of the Australian Workers Union, who went around embassies demonising Australian farmers."
Mr Littleproud said the big question for Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party was; will they support the ag visa?
"Mr Albanese told the National Farmers' Federation Conference that the ag visa didn't exist. Mr Albanese has to stand up to his union political masters and support the ag visa and farmers," he said.
Federal Shadow Minister Julie Collins said Labor would reserve $500 million of National Reconstruction Fund for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, food and fibre.
"Farmers that I talk to are looking for a long-term vision for agriculture. That's also why we want to help farmers adapt to a changing climate with our Powering Australia Policy," she said.
"Farmers are sick of politicking and division between the Nationals and the Liberals and are interested in hearing about how government will help to solve these issues."
The biggest issue facing agriculture from the Greens' perspective is climate change.
Greens' spokesperson for agriculture, senator Peter Whish-Wilson said few industries were more impacted by climatic disruption to ecosystems and biodiversity than farming.
He said the Greens would restore the Carbon Farming Futures program of $25m per annum, which the Liberals axed in 2016.
"By restoring funding to this program, we will see hundreds more carbon reducing projects get off the ground," he said.
The Greens would also create a $250m Green Agriculture Australia research centre, reform organic labelling and support organic certification, and build an Australian hemp, cannabis and seaweed farming industry.
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