Media Release

Drought and land management: tell us what’s really important

 10 November 2014

The Coalition Government is asking farmers to have their say on the new ideas put forward in the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper regarding drought support and natural resource management.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Green Paper included a range of new options to consider for drought support and land management.
 
“Some of the suggestions in the Green Paper include encouraging the uptake of commercial multi-peril crop insurance, investing in improved weather and climatic information, and accelerated depreciation for new water and fodder infrastructure,” Minister Joyce said.
 
“To deal with times of significant drought, stakeholders have also suggested the government continue providing concessional loans, expand the farm management deposits scheme and provide additional mental health support in times of drought.

“I know there are many farmers and their families  doing it tough and they know better than anyone what government support is most useful.
 
“In natural resource management, there have been some new policy ideas put forward on further water market reforms and even amending the Environmental Protection and Biosecurity Conservation Act 1999.
 
“The Green Paper identifies 25 diverse policy themes, and given the tight fiscal environment we need to build a strong case for each and every policy that is selected for the White Paper.
 
“We want feedback on the Green Paper especially to focus on the ideas that will help us increase competitiveness, increase farmgate profitability and contribute to the prosperity of our rural and regional communities.
 
“Everyone has the opportunity to have their say on the Green Paper. Submissions are open until 12 December 2014. Now is the time to help shape Australian agriculture into a stronger, more profitable and more sustainable sector,” Minister Joyce said.
 
To read the Green Paper, or provide a submission in response, visit: http://agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.au.