Last week marked two years of consistent agricultural achievements from Barnaby Joyce in the Federal Government. He’s increased returns to the farm-gate, developed new trade agreements, increased transparency, reduced red tape and much, much more.
Barnaby is leading our agricultural industry into a time of prosperity, with across the board advances from an era of neglect under Labor. The achievements of the Ministry, with applaud going to the entire team led by Barnaby’s vision, are many. Since 2013, the international trade sector has been steadily increasing with:
- 3 new trade agreements;
- 7 new livestock export markets; and
- 42 technical market access gains.
The new trade agreements alone were worth $15.7 billion in 2014. The expansion of these markets has led to increased prices across the board, leading to better outcomes for farmers and their families. The price of wool, for example, is up by 15%.
These increases are leading to greater agricultural prosperity. But that’s not all. Joyce and his team have been assisting the agricultural sector from every angle. Not only are farmers’ profits on the up and up, but there are now much clearer drought support measures for the tough times. There are strengthened biosecurity measures through the Stronger Biosecurity and Quarantine Initiative, including increased pest and weed management.
Reforms to improve scrutiny and transparency around the foreign land ownership of agricultural land have also taken place. Research and development funding has increased to $200 million via the Research and Development for Profit Programme, which is designed to deliver tangible productivity and profitability results for primary producers.
The dreaded red tape has been cut right across the sector in areas like biosecurity, AgVet chemicals, import and export processes. Response to consumer demand for country of origin labelling has been swift, transparent and effective.
The development of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper during Barnaby’s leadership has outlaid a clear plan for a strong and prosperous agricultural sector, focused on delivering for Australian farmers. With a full year left in his first term with the Ministry, we all expect further great things from Barnaby and his team.