MoU to guarantee farming future of NSW
The NSW Liberals & Nationals have entered into an historic agreement with the NSW Farmers Association to guarantee a number of key actions are undertaken in the next term of Government.
In the first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed between any NSW Government and the NSW Farmers Association, 14 priorities have been agreed upon to drive growth in the agricultural sector.
NSW Deputy Premier and Nationals Leader Troy Grant said the MoU recognised the mutual interests both parties had in ensuring regional NSW and the State’s primary industries received proper investment.
“If we’re re-elected, we will work collaboratively with NSW Farmers to implement these strategies, which will strengthen the agricultural sector and make it easier for farmers to run their businesses,” Mr Grant said.
“Importantly, the agreement cements our commitment to reform the State’s Biodiversity laws. We will conduct targeted stakeholder consultation during the development of this new legislation, which we hope will be ready to present in draft form by November this year.
“Farmers have been burdened by these laws for far too long and our reforms will give them the freedom to get on with good land management.”
As well as reform to the State’s biodiversity laws, the MoU covers areas including strengthening biosecurity; additional support for agriculture and aquaculture extension services; flying fox netting; drought recovery and preparedness; pest animal management; the development of a cross-commodity quality assurance strategy; and a commitment to hold a roundtable on young farmer finance.
“We are also targeting a number of other efficiency measures to improve our farmers’ lives, including investment in critical infrastructure from the partial long-term lease of the State’s electricity distribution networks,” Mr Grant said.
NSW Farmers Association President Fiona Simson said: “We are pleased the Coalition parties have listened and that NSW Farmers has signed an MoU on key requests from our farmers across the State.”
The NSW Liberals & Nationals will convene a regular forum with NSW Farmers to discuss progress on the initiatives set out in the MoU, with a view to hold the young farmers finance summit in the second-half of 2015.