Dave McKeon, GrainGrowers shares his reflections on the Ag Leaders Debate that took place yesterday
With the Federal Election campaign heading into the home stretch, this week we saw an enhanced focus on agriculture and the policies of the major parties were put to the test with a debate of the Agricultural Leaders at the National Press Club.
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, and his counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon, were put through their paces on a wide range of topics that impact Australian agriculture. With farmers driving growth in the Australian economy, sustainable management of the majority of Australia’s landscape, and underpinning the social fabric of regional Australia, the topics that were covered were diverse and certainly extended well outside the agriculture portfolio.
Key topics during the discussion included the policies underpinning the changing nature of farming businesses and the role of family farms, how to meet the workforce needs of the sector into the future, the impact on agriculture of emissions reduction targets on farming and the role of a carbon market in future farming systems.
Minister Littleproud focused on policy settings to help young farmers thrive into the future like GrainGrowers National Policy Group member Cam Parker who was in the audience and was referenced several times by the Minister! Fitzgibbon was focused on addressing the major challenges that are facing our sector such as climate change and consumer preferences.
While the debate did not see a stand-out winner, or any new major policy announcements, it did provide the opportunity to ensure agriculture remained front and centre in the focus of our major parties this Federal Election campaign.
Read what GrainGrowers is asking all candidates to commit to as part of their election priorities here.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud with NPG member Cam Parker at the Debate