​Media Release

Ag Industry Advisory Council heads west

14 July 2015

The future of Australian agriculture will be on the agenda at tomorrow's Agricultural Industry Advisory Council (AIAC) in Bunbury, Western Australia as industry leaders gather to discuss the Agricultural Competitiveness and Northern Australia white papers. 

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the council provided an essential link between government and agriculture sector and would inform both processes. 

"The release of the Agricultural and Northern Australian white papers are critical steps in securing the role that agriculture will play in the nation's future," Minister Joyce said. 

"Both papers are based on extensive consultation, with over 1000 submissions received for the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper alone. 

"The AIAC is a key part of this government's ongoing commitment to consultation.  

"I look forward to the invaluable discussion and insight the council will bring to the initiatives delivered through these white papers to farming communities across Australia." 

In addition to the white papers, the council will specifically consider country of origin labelling issues and deregulation activities across the agricultural, fishing and forestry sectors. 

"Now that the research and market testing has been completed for food labelling, we are working on options that will best meet consumers' needs for clear, easy to understand country of origin labelling," Minister Joyce said. 

"Meeting in Bunbury is also an excellent opportunity to see firsthand the unique work and challenges of some Western Australian agricultural industries. 

"Agricultural land in Western Australia occupies around 43 per cent of the state and supports a gross agricultural production value of $6.7 billion in 2012–13. 

"WA ports are close to many of our most promising new export markets and the state will play an important role in Australia's agricultural future." 

The next meeting of the council is expected to be held in early 2016.