2017 tipped to be a big one for agriculture
This year, for the first time ever, the value of Australia’s agricultural production is expected to pip $60 billion.
Agriculture, one of our first economies, continues to be a powerhouse of our nation, making it our priority not just for this year, but for decades to come.
Export earnings are set to rise, with a bright horizon forecast for wheat, wool, sugar, wine, chickpeas and cotton – and it’s our job to grow markets with better access for producers, and help make farms more productive.
We’ve gained tariff cuts under free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China, and negotiated new access protocols to get Australia’s highest quality produce, food and fibre, to overseas populations and bring that economic boost back to our farms, our growers and our regional communities.
We believe farmers do best when the government gets out of the way. From now on in red tape will be removed to give Australian exporters maximum concessions on agricultural products.
The Government shouldn’t run your farm, but it can make it easier for you to get your produce to market. We are sealing roads where there are no votes but there is vision; from Winton to Laverton and through the red centre. We’re building 499 mobile phone towers, we’ve put 100,000 regional properties on fixed wireless broadband and more on the NBN Skymuster satellite.
We’re building safer, new bridges to replace old timber ones, building new roads with Roads to Recovery and our $100m beef roads - all programs introduced by The Nationals in Coalition Government.
We completed Chaffey Dam on time, on budget and now it’s full. We want to replicate that success across Australia, and we have now invested in 41 water infrastructure feasibility studies across the nation.
The Government shouldn’t pay your mortgage, but it can fund the dams that create the jobs to grow the area around you.
If water is wealth, a dam is a bank. We’re building new dams and irrigation schemes across Tasmania, while improving water security through the South West Loddon Pipeline and upgrade of the Macalister Irrigation Scheme in Victoria. We’re charging ahead with projects across the north and west of the country including Rookwood Weir in Central Queensland and the Ord Stage 3 in Western Australia.
We are rolling out our $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper and continuing to deliver the largest investment in water infrastructure in Australia’s history, the $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund and our $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
For the industries that have been doing it tough, such as dairy, the Coalition has stepped in with support such as the $579 million dairy support package.
This year, we will continue our work to establish the Regional Investment Corporation, to strengthen oversight of foreign investment in Australian agriculture, and to decentralise government agencies, to move the APVMA to Armidale and RIRDC to Wagga Wagga.
And it’s an incredible thing to see this in practice, where we are bringing wealth and jobs into the remotest corners of the nation. To go to Paroo and see the new wild dog fence. To turn on the pumps at the modernised Central Pumping Station of the Sunraysia irrigation district. These projects are not on the news tonight, they don’t make the front page - but they are important to our communities.
The people I talk to don’t care too much about philosophy, but by gosh they bank on delivery.