Call for new government to embrace agriculture

NSW Farmers CEO Pete Arkle says the future of agriculture must be a focus for the incoming Labor government.

With Australians voting for change at Saturday’s poll, Mr Arkle said there were clear challenges and opportunities for the new cabinet.

“Throughout the campaign the farming community highlighted a number of concerns that need to be addressed, and we stand ready to work collaboratively for a stronger farming future,” Mr Arkle said.

“There are big concerns around sustainable biosecurity funding and preparedness, and we very much want to see the competition policy failures resolved in a prompt manner.

“But at the same time, we recognise that agriculture has enormous opportunity to help dig ourselves out of the COVID-sized economic hole Australia is in, and there are great opportunities to unlock the potential of natural capital.”

In terms of exports for NSW, $1 out of every $7 comes from agriculture, and Mr Arkle said there was even more economic potential with the right policy settings.

“Australian farmers operate in a pretty volatile environment with tough regulatory and legislative pressures, but they are far and away some of the most productive in the world,” Mr Arkle said.

“The farm gate economic opportunity for Australia is huge, but when you take into consideration the value-adding opportunities out there we are looking at a major growth industry.

“By investing in infrastructure, research and biosecurity, and by removing some of the barriers, our farmers can truly grow a stronger future for our country.”

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