It’s time to think big about Australian agriculture

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hinkler residents will today have their say on the future of Australia’s agriculture sector.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said Bundaberg was the final stop on the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper Taskforce’s listening tour across Australia.

“The Taskforce has visited 25 regional centres and eight capital cities since February, as part of the Coalition’s plan to make agriculture more profitable and rural communities more prosperous,” Mr Pitt said.

Hinkler farmers and stakeholders will attend one-on-one meetings and a community round-table session today.

“Our local industry leaders, farmers, and those in sectors like banking and transport, are full of practical ideas to deliver greater returns and now is the time to share them,” Mr Pitt said.

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers (BFVG) Executive Officer Peter Hockings said the Taskforce’s visit was a great opportunity for local farmers to outline their ideas to make Australian agriculture more competitive.“Our region’s growers are struggling to remain competitive with the currently high costs of labour, electricity, red tape and other impediments,” Mr Hockings said.

“We welcome the current Government’s approach to engagement, which opens proactive industry consultation for future policy development.”

Mr Pitt said information gathered during the consultation process would be used to develop a Green Paper, which will be released in mid-2014.

Written submissions can be made up until 5pm on April 17 (this Thursday).

The final White Paper, due for release at the end of the year, will outline the Government’s long term plan for the sector.   

Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814        

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