Keith Pitt sworn in as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Media statement from the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Keith Pitt:

“It is an honour to be appointed as Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to such an important portfolio as Agriculture and Water Resources.

“Coming from a farming family, and representing a major primary producing region in Australia, I understand first-hand the vital role that agriculture plays in Australia’s economy, our communities and our way of life.

“This is an exciting time to be in agriculture. We have a robust economy, a skilled workforce, a world-class clean and green reputation and—I believe—the best farmers in the world. Add to this growing global demand for quality agrifood products, and the opportunities for the sector are tremendous.

“In turn, this means the contribution that agricultural exports make to Australia as a pillar of the national economy is also poised to grow. By assuring the future of our farmers, I am determined to make a contribution to that growth.

“I am proud to be part of a government that is willing to back the sector, and help position it to leverage its strengths and capitalise on opportunities.

“A crucial component of the agricultural sector is water and water security. Under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Coalition government has committed $500 million to develop the nation’s water infrastructure.

“The National Water Infrastructure Development Fund will provide future water security for farmers throughout regional Australia.

“I look forward to working with the Deputy Prime Minister to ensure that the right water infrastructure projects are built in the right locations, to grow regional economies and create jobs.

“I am very pleased to join such capable and experienced colleagues as Barnaby Joyce and Anne Ruston, who together are already implementing practical policies and sensible programmes, backed with genuine investment, that are delivering tangible benefits to farmers on the ground.

“From delivering the Agricultural Competiveness White Paper, comprehensive drought support, expanding access to premium overseas markets, modernising our 100-year-old biosecurity legislation, to the priority placed on infrastructure in implementing the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, the Coalition Government’s focus is firmly on building a vibrant, strong and prosperous agriculture sector.

“I look forward to working with Barnaby and Anne to realise a bright future for agriculture in Australia.”