Monday, 10 October 2022

Water security, workforce shortages headline discussions with ag sector

Leader of the Opposition the Hon Peter Dutton MP and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt MP met with local representatives from the region’s agriculture industry during Mr Dutton’s visit to Bundaberg today.

“It was a great opportunity to speak with local representatives from the agriculture industry about worker shortages, increases in production costs and cost of living pressures,” Mr Pitt said.

“The former Coalition Government’s $600 million commitment to repair Paradise Dam was discussed and Mr Dutton and I confirmed our continued support for this crucial infrastructure project and vowed to hold the Albanese Government accountable,” Mr Pitt said.

“Without the water security that Paradise Dam provides, our region will not be able to grow and build on the reputation we have as the nation’s food bowl.”

Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Peter Dutton MP said the main issues raised with him during the meeting were water, rising energy costs, supply chain problems and workforce shortages.

I’m here in Bundaberg today to work closely with farmers and with the local community to see how we can provide support and continue to grow the region so that more young people can be employed and there is more financial activity here in the Bundaberg region,” Mr Dutton said.

“Farmers naturally get nervous because they want to make capital investment, they want to improve their own production and it’s all the other input costs. It’s fertiliser, it’s the labour cost and the uncertainty, particularly post COVID around labour.

We want to make sure that people can afford to turn their lights on, they can afford to continue to manufacture here in Australia and to value add to the production lines and supply chains within our own country.

“Before the election the Prime Minister promised on no less than 97 occasions that Labor would reduce energy prices and that they had a plan to deal with the cost of living pressures on families. 

“Since the election, the Prime Minister has never mentioned that $275 figure again and it’s clear that there is no plan to help families with the rising cost of living pressures.

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