Over the weekend, the Coalition Government released its much anticipated Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
This White Paper delivers on a key Coalition election commitment and sets the future direction of agricultural policy to drive long-term growth and prosperity across rural and regional Australia.
For the first time, Australia has a long-term plan to strengthen and sustain our agriculture sector.
Everyone across the Parkes electorate knows all too well that a strong agriculture sector contributes to a strong economy. It means more jobs, more exports, higher incomes and better services for our local communities.
As the Federal Member for the Parkes electorate, I am determined to help make the agriculture sector even more competitive and to deliver practical actions that will keep our farmers and farming families profitable and resilient.
I am pleased to be part of a Government that is lowering taxes, cutting red and green tape, building infrastructure, encouraging trade and supporting all businesses, including farming businesses, to innovate and create jobs.
A key initiative of the White Paper is the Government’s $11.4 million investment to boost the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) engagement with the agricultural sector, including a new Commissioner with expertise in agriculture.
This investment will promote a more farm-savvy and proactive ACCC and will encourage fair trading and strengthen competition in agricultural supply chains.
The White Paper also builds on the Government’s investments to build 21st century water, transport and communications infrastructure, including a new National Water Infrastructure Fund.
The Government’s $500 million National Water Infrastructure Fund will provide future water security for our farmers. This is in addition to what is already being invested in the Murray Darling Basin Plan across parts of the Parkes electorate.
I am also pleased that the Government has announced the opening of new export markets and that it will protect Australia’s highly prized biosecurity status, which underpins our valuable exports.
The Government has successfully delivered the trifecta of free trade agreements with Japan, the Republic of Korea and China – this will deliver new opportunities for our farmers.
The White Paper also includes $200 million to improve biosecurity which will help ensure Australia’s premium products remain top quality and $30.8 million to break down technical barriers to trade and appointing five new overseas Agriculture Counsellors.
I am very pleased with the initiatives set out in Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and I look forward to seeing the practical outcomes not only for farmers, but also for the rural and regional communities across the Parkes electorate and Australia more broadly.
I strongly encourage all farmers and residents wanting to know more about the White Paper to visit agwhitepaper.agriculture.gov.au.