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REGIONAL AUSTRALIA—AUSTRALIAN YEAR OF THE FARMER 2012

Senator Siewert, also on behalf of Senators Colbeck and Sterle, amended general business notice of motion no. 647 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 is a year-long celebration of the vital role farmers play in feeding, clothing and housing people - both here and overseas;

 (b) acknowledges:

  (i) that agriculture plays an integral role in Australia's economy and prosperity, injecting more than $405 billion into the economy per year - 27 per cent of gross domestic product,

  (ii) that there are 136 000 farms employing approximately 370 000 people and supports farming families across Australia,

  (iii) that agriculture and related industries provide 1.6 million jobs, more than half are located in metropolitan Australia,

  (iv) that farming exports totalled approximately $27 billion in 2010-11 - a great contribution to global food supply and security,

  (v) that the majority of Australians (71 per cent) believe agriculture and related industries contribute to the Australian way of life and our identity as a nation,

  (vi) the importance of the contribution Australian farmers make to the maintenance of our cultural and environmental heritage, and

  (vii) that the Australian Year of the Farmer recognises those who make a significant contribution to our economic, social and environmental prosperity; and

 (c) calls on the Government to support and provide funding for the initiatives of the Australian Year of the Farmer 2012 [http://www.yearofthefarmer.com.au].

Question put and passed.