Nationals Leader and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has warned farmer confidence is at an all-time low on Ag Day, after the National Farmers’ Federation surveyed more than 1600 farmers and found the majority thought Labor was harming the industry.
Mr Littleproud said Ag Day was important to acknowledge the incredible work being done by the industry, which provides enough food for 80 million people, while also understand the difficulty farmers were facing under Labor.
“The reality is, our farmers feel under siege because of Labor’s bad policies,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Labor continues to harm the industry, which, in turns, drives up the price of food and fibre.”
Labor’s attacks that are harming the agricultural industry include:
Fresh food tax – Labor is taxing farmers more, by forcing them to pay for the biosecurity risks of international importers.
Scrapping the Ag visa – Australia’s top peak food industry bodies warned that agriculture required an additional 172,000 workers, yet only around 16,000 Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) workers have come in since Labor got into office.
Unworkable PALM scheme – Changes to the PALM scheme are making it even more difficult and costly for farmers to get their product from paddock to plate. Farmers can’t get the workers they need and will be forced to offer a minimum of 30 hours per week, despite agriculture work being seasonal and weather dependent.
Banning live sheep exports – Labor is destroying the livelihoods of more than 3000 people and an industry worth $85 million, by banning live sheep exports.
Reckless race to renewables – Labor’s reckless race to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 means 28,000 thousand kilometres of transmission lines will rip up native vegetation and prime agricultural land.
Water buybacks – Labor is forging ahead with water buybacks, which ignore the economic and social safeguards for an additional 450 gigalitres.
Mr Littleproud said every time Australians see their docket at the grocery store, it should have the Prime Minister’s face on it.
“The reason that food bills are increasing is because of Labor. This Government is making food more expensive for Australians. A future Coalition government will stop this madness and senseless destruction of our farmland for the sake of left-leaning ideology.
“Unlike Labor, a future Coalition government will support, protect and grow our farming industry not just on Ag Day, but every day of the year.”