Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
$100 million boost for agricultural R&D

Download PDFDownload PDF

Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security John Cobb

$100 million boost for agricultural R&D 28-August-2013

The Coalition will increase the Federal contribution to the fifteen Rural Research and Development Corporations, by directly committing $100 million towards increasing the profitability of Australian agriculture, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, John Cobb, said today.

As the Prime Minister’s science and innovation council has stated. “The decrease in real investment in R&D has led to the substantive decline in underlying productivity growth in the Australian agricultural sector.”

“We fundamentally believe Australia must invest in our farmers and farm sector now if we are to have a prosperous, sustainable and profitable future,” Mr Cobb said.

“This R&D funding will provide industry with the capacity to deliver cutting-edge technology, continued applied research, and an increased emphasis on collaborative innovation and extension.”

Research and Development, innovation and extension for profit are critical for the continued productivity growth of safe, nutritious food to meet our national and global food and fibre needs. “While the government pays lip-service to Agricultural R&D, the reality couldn’t be more contrary to the rhetoric. Labor continues to plunder the agricultural portfolio, which has been emaciated under Labor, dropping from an annual budget of $3.8 billion in 2007 to under $2 billion today,” said Mr Cobb.

“Shamelessly, R&D is cited by the Labor government as one of the key planks of this push to capitalise on the so-called Asian Century. Yet, Labor abolished Land and Water Australia and cut $63 million in CSIRO agricultural research.

“Labor planned to support the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to halve the government’s contribution to Research and Development Corporations. It was only pressure from industry and the Coalition that shamed the government out of it.

“Three vital agricultural CRCs - Beef Genetics, Cotton Catchment Communities and Forestry - have all been abolished under Labor.”

Mr Cobb said today the Coalition again commits to further investment in agricultural R&D which focuses on increasing the profitability of the sector.

“The Coalition will commit to working with farm industries to ensure that R&D funding achieves maximum advantage for Australian jobs, Australian growth, Australian prosperity and importantly the profitability of the sector,” he said.