In a ceremony with around 50 apple and pear growers, industry stakeholders, and guests, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Anne Ruston officially opened APAL’s new office in East Melbourne.
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Hailing from South Australia, Liberal Senator Anne Ruston has also been appointed responsibility for the horticulture sector, taking over from Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce. She is already familiar with the horticultural sector as the owner of Ruston’s Roses in Renmark, South Australia – a commercial cut-flower business and home to Australia’s largest rose garden. According to the business’s website, the family business has significantly diversified and expanded under Anne’s ownership and has reduced its irrigation water use by 60 per cent.
Senator Ruston discussed the importance of infrastructure development to ensure growers could produce and get their fresh produce to market. She also acknowledged the export opportunity for both apples and pears and offered to help in any way she could to increase exports.
Senator Ruston noted the role government can play in regulation that supports Australia’s brand as one of the cleanest, greenest and safest producers and in export market access, but also the importance of allowing businesses to simply get on with business. She also praised APAL for its leading role in developing the Voice of Horticulture and paid tribute to those present who contributed to its establishment.