Agriculture and water ministers meet in Brisbane
19 November 2015
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, will welcome state and territory agriculture and water ministers to an Australian Agricultural Ministers' meeting in Brisbane today.
Minister Joyce said this was a great opportunity to discuss water policy in tandem with primary industry and agriculture ministers.
"Like me, a number of agriculture ministers also have responsibility for water; however I am very pleased that all state Water Ministers are invited to be guests of the meeting given the importance of water as a vital input for agriculture.
"Ministers will have the chance to address their key priorities and share ideas for both water and agriculture in a single forum," Minister Joyce said.
"Water is vital for agriculture, environment and communities but it's not an either/or situation, it's the lifeblood for all and getting it right is a win-win.
"I am also looking forward to updating my colleagues on the measures we've delivered under the Agricultural Competitiveness and Northern Australia white papers—particularly the range of drought measures and our massive overhaul to improve our national biosecurity system and ensure it remains world class.
"This meeting will provide a framework to making headway on a range of current issues like responding to exotic red imported fire ants, progressing free range egg and country of origin labelling and getting an update on how the national livestock identification system for sheep and goats is proceeding.
"There will also be discussion on fruit fly—an issue across much of Australia at this time of year—and the recently created Victorian Fruit Fly Action Plan and national research on sterile insect technology.
"It's a lot of ground to cover but this demonstrates that all governments share the same aspirations—the long term viability of agriculture and the sustainability of our water resources."
A communiqué detailing the outcomes of the meeting will be available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website soon after the meeting.