Labor welcomes the arrival of the long over-due Agriculture Green paper.
The sector has had to endure more than twelve months of policy inertia and yet, as predicted, the Green paper has not identified any issues not already well known and discussed.
Many challenges have been identified, but few new solutions offered.
The Government is trumpeting dams to be the headline result.
Better and more efficient management of our scarce water resources has long been a key priority for Labor and we call on the Government to ensure comprehensive action on water sustainability.
Of course new water projects require the strong cooperation of the States yet one of the Abbott Government’s first acts was to abolish the key COAG Committee – the Standing Council on Primary Industries (SCOPI).
These projects also require money; often from both the public and private sectors. That’s why the former Labor Government invested in projects like those along the Murray Darling Basin and in Tasmania’s Midlands.
Labor remains determined to progress a bi-partisan approach to agriculture – to separate strategic planning from the three-year political cycle.
The final White Paper will need to provide much more detail about how we might achieve our shared aspirations for Australian agriculture.
MONDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2014