Australian farming groups looking forward to Coalition delivering on horticulture promises

After congratulating the Liberal-National parties on their re-election, peak Australian horticulture body Growcom reminded the government that primary producers would have high expectations of a returned Coalition Government and its commitments to horticulture.

While the final make-up of the parliament is still yet to be determined, the Coalition claimed victory in  the federal election on Saturday night, and Growcom CEO David Thomson is looking forward to working with the government on issues such as food safety, biosecurity, infrastructure for supply chains, and developing Northern Australia.

“The Coalition brought to the election a plan to lift agriculture, fisheries and forestry to be a $100 billion industry by 2030,” Mr Thomson said. “Growers should be encouraged by this plan and its commitments to secure water access for primary production, ensure our industry has a skilled workforce to tap into, and lower energy prices.”

Photo: Agriculture Minister David Littleproud during the election campaign

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and the Coalition made a number of commitments to the sector; from a number of trade and export policies announced in the budget earlier in the year, through to campaign promises such as protective cropping, bee pollination and water security and buybacks.

“We also welcome the focus on opening up new export markets for horticulture products in particular," Mr Thomson said. "If we are to reach $100 billion by 2030, expanding opportunities to export our fresh fruits and vegetables and value-added products will be essential. In response to our most pressing labour issues, Growcom asks the Government to return their attention to introducing a dedicated agriculture visa and to continue their support of the Fair Farms Training and Certification Program for employers in horticulture.”

The National Farmers’ Federation also congratulated Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack on the Coalition's resounding re-election.

"During the 45th Parliament, the Morrison Government supported farmers in the management of particularly tough times including unprecedented and ongoing drought and a devastating flood event in central Queensland," NFF President Fiona Simson said. "This support demonstrated the value the Government puts on agriculture and its future."

Ms Simson says the key challenges for the farm sector continue to be energy, natural resource management, labour and water management.

"Environmental management remains both a challenge and opportunity and we look forward to progressing the Government's commitment to a potentially 'game changing' Biodiversity Stewardship Pilot and a $4 million Sustainability Certification Project. Likewise, we also recognise the Minister for his leadership in brokering bipartisanship on the continued implementation of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. We trust the Government will continue to pursue an ambitious trade agenda and look forward to together, continuing to work on fixing agriculture’s labour shortages."

Sources: NFF and Growcom press releases.

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