Ag looking for a sustainable future from the election result | Queensland country life
We announced it last week, and here we are – a federal election has been called and we go to the polls on May 21.
There will be a lot to talk about over the next six weeks as every party courts our vote and with a proliferation of independents and new parties entering the fray it will be easy to be distracted by big promises with little of substance.
What agriculture needs today is just that, substance. A long-term vision, backed by strong policies, strategic investments in practices and infrastructure that will support a sustainable future for agriculture.
From the Queensland Farmers’ Federation perspective, there are several key issues that are critical to the future of farming, and I spoke about them last week.
We must guarantee water security if agriculture is to continue to develop. Water security and affordability are fundamental not only to a strong future for agriculture, but our communities, both rural and urban, also depend on it. Water is too important to be used as a political football, we need bipartisan support and a long-term plan to strengthen water security statewide.
Biosecurity is also critical and requires continued government prioritization, an effective plan that looks at protection, prevention, our ability to continuously manage and respond to an outbreak. It remains one of Australia’s biggest risks, and just like other security policies and portfolios such as defence, it requires commitment and constant attention – not just shuffling the same funding in circles. . We saw it more recently with the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis. Putting out spot fires is not enough to build the strength and capacity we need in biosecurity.
Both parties began the campaign period by making labor a key electoral platform. Attracting and retaining staff to successfully run your farming business has become increasingly difficult and has been exacerbated by housing shortages.
Agriculture needs a commitment to workforce security and growth and, again, this requires a viable strategy that includes addressing the regional housing crisis and workforce development. that will meet the needs of all agricultural businesses and all products that make up our agricultural sector.
We need details on political announcements and a willingness to work closely with industry. Agriculture is a significant contributor to our state and national economy and is the heart of regional Australia. Our farmers are leading the world in innovation and adaptation and this sector needs more than short-term media announcements. Is it too much to expect to see well-thought-out, long-term strategic policies that reflect the economic importance of the sector to our economy and our communities?