​Joint Media Release

Investing in rural leaders will pay dividends

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack

10 November 2015

The Coalition Government is investing $150,000 in a programme to equip potential rural leaders with the skills to shape and improve their industries and communities. 

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, said a $150,000 commitment to the Australian Rural Leadership Programme (ARLP) was a targeted investment in the future of rural and regional Australia. 

"We need to give up-and-coming leaders, who have the ideas and the passion to make a difference to their industries and communities, the opportunity to develop the skills that will help them influence industry strategy, community expectations and government policy," Minister Joyce said. 

"One way to bridge the gap between having a good idea and getting it adopted is by developing leadership skills, and so this funding will provide a scholarship for an individual to participate in the ARLP for three years from May, 2016. 

"The Australian Rural Leadership Foundation's (ARLF) Australian Rural Leadership Programme has been around for 20 years and its alumni numbers more than 500—many of whom remain influential in their industries and communities." 

Minister McCormack represented Minister Joyce at an ARLP panel on political leadership today in Canberra and said he was impressed with the calibre and enthusiasm of the participants. 

"It is my great hope that those who participate in opportunities such as those offered by ARLF will get a taste for community service in whatever form that may take and continue to contribute their experience and ideas to public discourse," Minister McCormack said.

"New ideas and new thinking are needed to improve the profitability and productivity of agriculture and driving innovation in regional Australia." 

Minister Joyce said the government had shown its commitment to that goal through the development of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. 

"The White Paper was informed by comprehensive stakeholder consultation—more than 1,000 submissions were received and we talked face-to-face with more than 1,100 people across the country," Minister Joyce said. 

For more information on ARLF's Australian Rural Leadership Programme visit: rural-leaders.com.au

The Coalition Government also recently announced an additional $75,000 for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation's Rural Women's Awards. For more information about RIRDC's Rural Women's Awards visit rirdc.gov.au/rural-women's-award.