Media Release

Agriculture White Paper discussions start in Tasmania

13 February 2014

The first Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper face-to-face discussions will begin in Tasmania next week, giving the community an opportunity to have their say about the future of agriculture.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and his Parliamentary Secretary, Senator Richard Colbeck, urge all Tasmanians with a passion for agriculture to contribute to the Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper process.

“It is vitally important that those with ideas, enthusiasm and knowledge get involved in this process because it will outline how Australia can sustain and grow the sector into the future,” Minister Joyce said.

“Now is your chance to think big. Now is the chance to put forward your ideas for creating a stronger, more profitable and more sustainable agriculture sector.”

Minister Joyce said Australia’s agriculture sector is an important contributor to the Australian economy and each year our farmers produce around $50 billion worth of food and fibre, and exports are valued at almost $40 billion.

“We want to hear ideas that will help us increase competitiveness, increase farmgate profitability and contribute to the prosperity of our rural and regional communities,” Minister Joyce said.

Senator Colbeck said Tasmania was the first stop for the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper Taskforce and it was a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for agriculture to get involved and put forward their ideas.

“There will be two roundtable meetings with invited farmers and agricultural representatives, as well as with scheduled one-on-one meetings. I encourage those passionate about making our agricultural industries stronger to take an interest and have a say.”

“Our local industry leaders, farmers, and those in sectors connected to the land, like transport and banking, are full of practical ideas which can deliver great returns for Australia and for farmers and now is the time to share them,” Senator Colbeck said.

In the coming months, the taskforce will visit towns and regional centres across Australia to meet with local farmers and industry representatives and listen to their ideas.

The Coalition is meeting an election commitment by commissioning the Agriculture Competitiveness White Paper which will develop recommendations for boosting agriculture’s contribution to economic growth, export and trade, innovation and productivity.

Building on our strengths in agriculture is part of the Coalition’s plan to build a diverse five pillar economy to generate jobs and deliver a stronger, more prosperous economy.

Roundtable meetings will be held in Devonport on Tuesday February 18th and Hobart on Thursday February 20th.

One-on-one meetings have been scheduled for Devonport on Wednesday February 19th and Hobart on Thursday February 20th.

To make a one-on-one appointment phone 02 6271 6272 or email.

If you are not attending a roundtable or have been unable to make a one-on-one appointment you can still make a submission. To find out how, visit their website.

Submissions are due by 5pm, 17 April 2014.