Agriculture industry powerhouse Daryl Quinlivan has been appointed the state’s first Agriculture Commissioner, delivering on a major NSW Nationals election commitment.

NSW Nationals Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced Mr Quinlivan’s appointment in Coffs Harbour and said the he would champion farmers’ rights.

“Establishing an Agriculture Commissioner was a major election commitment for the NSW Nationals in the state government and this announcement is an important step in delivering the protections and policies our farmers need to grow and thrive,” Mr Marshall said.

“Daryl is incredibly well regarded in the industry, having served as the secretary of the Commonwealth Agriculture Department and headed up the Productivity Commission.

“His wealth of experience will be critical in driving growth in our state’s $16 billion primary industries sector.”

The Agriculture Commissioner will review the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Right to Farm policy and will have a particular focus on resolving land use conflict and identifying growth opportunities for the industry.

“This government has already introduced the toughest penalties in the nation for farm trespass and now we’re focused on removing other impediments constraining primary production in NSW,” Mr Marshall said.

NSW Nationals Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh, himself a former farmer, welcomed the announcement and said the commissioner would be a strong voice for local farmers.

“Coffs Harbour is home to diverse agricultural operations and I look forward to working with the commissioner to back our farmers and ensure we have a vibrant industry into the future,” Mr Singh said.

Mr Quinlivan said he was honoured to be appointed to the role and would advocate strongly on behalf of the state’s farmers.

“My goal is to a see a stronger and more vibrant agricultural industry in NSW and I look forward to working closely with farmers to understand what they need to take the industry to the next level,” Mr Quinlivan said.

About the commissioner

Daryl Quinlivan has held a number of senior roles in the Australian Public Service, working closely on agriculture and food trade-related issues. Daryl recently served as secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources from 2015-2020. He previously served as Head of Office for the Commonwealth Productivity Commission from 2013-2015 and held a number of other roles including deputy secretary at the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture between 2000 and 2011.

The commissioner will advocate on behalf of the state’s primary producers and will work with stakeholders to understand barriers to the future success and viability of agriculture in NSW. The Agriculture Commissioner will also be tasked with investigating how land use conflict with primary producers can be mitigated and better managed.