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Cobb's got no plan for ag



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Cobb's got no plan for ag

20 February 2013 DAFF13/463L

John Cobb talks down agriculture but he has no plan for the future, said Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig.

“Mr Cobb issued a press release today only to ensure his name isn’t forgotten,” Minister Ludwig said.

“Today’s release was issued 10 weeks after the Treasurer’s announcement - what took him so long?

“There was no content to this release. It was just another example of the Coalition’s eagerness to talk down Australian agriculture.”

Minister Ludwig said, in contrast, the Gillard Government was getting on with governing.

“The Gillard Government has a plan for the future and is working with industry to implement reforms that strengthen Australian agriculture,” Minister Ludwig said.

“We’re developing the first ever National Food Plan, we’re investing in research and development and we’re reforming our biosecurity system. We’re investing in natural resource management, we’re working to expand market access and we’re undertaking drought reform.

“The Gillard Government supports a strong agriculture sector and that’s why we’re working with industry to implement programs and reforms.”

Minister Ludwig said Mr Cobb was using lazy releases to hide the fact the Coalition would cut services across rural and regional Australia.

“Mr Cobb pays lip service to farmers in media releases and takes their votes for granted but he has no policy and he has no plan for the future,” Minister Ludwig said.

“His so-called policy statement a few weeks ago showed that while he’s happy to throw the word ‘agriculture’ around, he and the Coalition only have a muddle list of motherhood statements that are an insult to farmers and rural communities.

“Coalition Governments across this country have been cutting agriculture services, farmer support and biosecurity. Mr Cobb should come clean today and tell rural communities what cuts Tony Abbott has in store for them.

“We know the Coalition has a $70 billion budget black hole and Mr Cobb needs to make it clear what agriculture services will be sacrificed.”