Media Release

It’s time to think big about Australian agriculture

6 February 2014

Now is the time for those interested in agriculture to have their say on how Australia can build a sector that grows and delivers a greater return to our nation and the farm gate.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, today took the first step in developing the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper by releasing the issues paper and calling on people to get involved.

“If your experience in agriculture is anything like mine, then you’re always looking for an opportunity to have your say,” Minister Joyce said.

“Whether you’re drenching sheep, mustering cattle or sitting on a tractor, you always had in the back of your mind what you would do to make the show work better – well this is your opportunity to do precisely that.”

The issues paper identifies the key matters the government would like input on and will guide the development of the White Paper.

Issues include access to finance, competitiveness through the value chain, reducing inefficient regulation, enhancing agricultural exports and managing drought for the longer term.

“There are a number of ways you can have your say,” Minister Joyce said.

In the coming months, the taskforce will visit 25 towns and regional centres and the eight capital cities to consult with industry leaders, farmers, and those in sectors connected to the land like transport and banking.

Those who are interested can also make an appointment to meet one-on-one with the taskforce while they’re on the road.

Written submissions are also sought and these can be lodged via the website.

“Now is your chance to think big,” Minister Joyce said.

“Now is your chance to say what I would do for my nation if I was to make agriculture work better.”

Building on our strengths in agriculture is part of the Australian Government’s plan to build a diverse 5-Pillar economy to generate jobs and deliver a stronger, more prosperous economy.

Submissions are due by 5pm EST 17 April 2014.

The towns and regional centres the taskforce will visit are available on the website. To find out more visit www.agriculturalcompetitiveness.dpmc.gov.au