Show me the money Canberra – farmers outline 2018 policy demands

Show me the money Canberra – farmers outline 2018 policy demands


Politics
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Australian farmers want their elected representatives to get on with the main job of implementing sensible and focussed farm policies and reforms.

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DUAL citizenship may well dominate federal parliament’s focus upon resuming for 2018, with more Labor members facing controversial referrals to the High Court to test their eligibility leaving Labor leader Bill Shorten with egg on his face.

But the main focus for Australian farmers today is for their elected representatives to get on with the main job of implementing sensible and focussed farm policies and reforms that can help to reduce their production costs and increase their bottom lines.

Nuffield Scholarship holder and South Australian agriculturalist James Stacy had a short sharp message for federal parliamentarians to kick-start the first sitting week of the year when asked to put forward his policy priorities - and it wasn’t dual citizenship.

“Cheaper Electricity,” he said on Twitter.

CEO Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt also had a succinct request.

“Coordinated climate policy,” she said on Twitter.

A similar sharp message was provided by Queensland grain producer Brendan Taylor.

“Road and rail infrastructure,” he said.

Dr Lee Hickey said “We should be excited about opportunities to create step change in Ag to give our farmers an edge for high value markets - but this will only come through investing in science and technology”.

Andrew Bomm of Progressive Agriculture cited; better water market information; sorting out the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority debacle; drought policy that rewards good risk managers; and less restrictive foreign investment settings.

The National Farmers’ Federation pointed to the lobby group’s pre-budget submission saying it outlines investments and policy that its members believe can take Australian agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030.

Northern NSW grain and livestock farmer Oscar Pearce pinpointed; regional transport and infrastructure spending; environmental incentives for agriculture; climate policy; Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act listings; export trade access; water policy; chemical and food safety regulation and systems; and education policy.

South Australian Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham said the Coalition government doesn’t want to and doesn’t intend to focus on the dual citizenship issue.

“Far from it,” he told ABC radio.

“We’re going to get on with the job that we’ve been doing to keep creating more jobs across the Australian economy – some 400,000 plus last year, a record since statistics have been collected.

“We’re going to keep working on budget repair, which is ahead of the track that we’d set ourselves and improving in terms of against budget projections.

“These are the important issues - but we do believe that Bill Shorten ought to admit that firstly, he misled the Australian people through the second half of last year.

“He stood there hand on heart and repeatedly said that Labor has no problems and yet now he has a by-election in a Victorian seat; a Senator before the High Court; and, of course, the case in Queensland of the member for Longman whose situation is very clear that she is still a British citizen, that her renunciation steps were not completed.

“And, rather than wasting any of the parliament’s time or any of the court’s time, she should follow David Feeney’s lead and Susan Lamb should resign from the parliament.”

The Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association said their priority for 2018 was “letting farmers get on with their jobs of caring for land and rivers, while producing food and fibre by keeping governments out of their way”.

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