​Media Release

Exciting time for Australian agriculture

2 March 2016

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, will join industry and academia at the Outlook 2016 conference to examine the future of agriculture.

Minister Ruston said the Turnbull Coalition Government has a vision for a prosperous, productive and innovative agriculture sector.

"The opportunities for the agriculture sector are tremendous, and I have good reason to be full of optimism for the future," Minister Ruston said.

"Australia has world-class farmers who are able to capitalise on the fortunate position we are in.

"We are neighbours with the strongest growing region in the world, we have world-renowned clean and green credentials, a strong economy, modern technology and a skilled workforce."

Minister Ruston said ongoing growth in global demand for food and fibre is delivering huge opportunities for Australia.

"According to ABARES, growth in global food demand alone will require a 75 per cent increase in global food production by 2050 compared with 2007 levels," Minister Ruston said.

"Australia is well-placed to take advantage of this growing demand, much of which will come from our neighbours and existing trading partners in Asia.

"It also reflects a growing international market for the kind of high-value produce and expertise at which Australia excels.

"This demand presents tremendous opportunities, but it's also important that we aren't complacent and continually strive to do business better, while maintaining Australia's high biosecurity standards.

"The Coalition Government has delivered tangible results for this sector over the past two years, and the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper is also laying a platform for the future.

"Under the Ag White Paper we have doubled the Rural R&D for Profit programme investment to $200 million, and extended it to 2021–22.

"We have delivered accelerated tax depreciation measures which encourage farmers, regardless of the size of their farm enterprise, to invest in their businesses to better prepare for drought and improve their productivity.

"The Coalition Government also introduced legislation to strengthen the Farm Management Deposit (FMD) scheme and make FMD arrangements more flexible for farm businesses.

"The recent appointment of Mr Mick Keogh as Agriculture Commissioner will contribute invaluable experience to the ACCC to identify and make decisions on competition matters in agriculture markets.

"We've secured trade deals with Japan, Korea and of course China—three of our most valuable agricultural export markets and opened access to new livestock export markets to China, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Cambodia, Thailand and Lebanon.

"We signed the Trans–Pacific Partnership Agreement, which will provide significant advantages for Australian agriculture, with improvements to access for beef, dairy, grains, cotton, sugar, horticulture, rice, seafood and wine across 11 countries, five of which are Australia's top 10 trading partners.

"This all adds up, and I am confident that we will realise a bright and exciting future for our agricultural industries."​