The state’s peak farming body says Labor will need to make strategic investments in the agricultural sector to pay for election promises and secure the future food supply.
NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said partnering with industry to bolster food and fibre production would be key to Labor’s next four years, which will help drive economic activity to deliver the programs and services the people of NSW need.
“Roads and hospitals and schools, health workers and police and teachers – all these vital things come with a big price tag, and Premier-elect Chris Minns will need the strong economic activity that agriculture can deliver,” Mr Martin said.
“We know agriculture is an economic dynamo for our state, and it has great growth potential if the right policies and programs are put in place.
“This means investing in the future of food production will have major benefits for everyone in NSW.”
Mr Martin said NSW Farmers had hosted six regional election debate forums to ensure solutions to the big problems facing rural and regional voters were presented to all parties.
“The real challenge for the next four years will be the rising cost of living – rising inflation and interest rates have forced many families to pull back on their spending, meaning government coffers will be harder to fill in the short-term,” he said.
“The rising cost of fuel and electricity is hurting both our farmers and families right across the state, not just in Western Sydney where we saw so much political attention during the campaign.
“Our platform of ‘feeding the future’ is a blueprint, if you like, for government to unlock the economic potential of agriculture, and in turn deliver on their promises to the people of NSW.”
Repairing and improving roads and supply chains, resolving land use conflict and tackling biosecurity problems such as pest animals and weeds were among the top priorities for NSW Farmers.
“Pests and weeds mean less productivity for farmers, which in turn means less profitability and less economic activity more broadly,” Mr Martin said.
“We are great at growing healthy plants and healthy animals, but we need governments to partner with farmers to get more food from farm gate to dinner plate quickly and efficiently.
“Meeting the basic human need for food also drives significant economic activity for the state, and NSW Farmers looks forward to working constructively on ways to realise the full potential of the agricultural sector.”