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NFF provides responsible reply

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John Anderson, MR Deputy Leader, National Party of Australia Shadow Minister for Primary Industry

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NFF provides responsible reply

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) had provided a considered and responsible reply to the policy positions of the major parties for the coming Federal election, the Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, John Anderson, said today.

Mr Anderson said he was pleased the NFF had managed to extract some policy positions from the Labor Party, given the ALP had failed to provide a primary industry policy document for the election.

“As a result of the NFF’s work, it is clear the Labor Party is offering farmers more of the same - and the vast majority of farmers will absolutely reject such option.

“Any reasonable analysis of the NFF statement must lead to the conclusion that the Coalition is offering a better package for the rural sector than any other contenders.

"While NFF President Donald McGauchie has not drawn conclusions on which party's policies best meet the needs of rural Australia, it is clear the Democrats and the Greens have no concept of the importance of the rural sector to the national economy and the standard of living of all Australians, and that the Labor Party is offering nothing new.

“The Coalition is offering the only clear, new and positive alternative.

“We will cut spending, reduce government debt and interest rates, not introduce new taxes or increase existing ones and will provide incentives to encourage personal savings.

“We will provide capital gains, fringe benefits and provisional tax relief, not increase fuel taxes and retain the on-farm diesel fuel excise rebate.

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“We will provide far more positive labour market reforms than any other party, including more flexible work place agreements, abolition of compulsory unionism, changes to unfair dismissal laws and effective protection against union boycotts.

“Our overall Landcare package is far superior to that offered by any other party."

Mr Anderson said the Coalition noted the NFF’s concern about abolishing the tariff concession scheme and said the Coalition would closely consult with industry and ensure cost off-sets were implemented to minimise the impact on the farm sector.

“I share Mr McGauchie’s view that election promises must be delivered in the context of budgetary and economic responsibility. All of the Coalition's commitments have been responsibly calculated.

“I applaud Mr McGauchie's commitment to vigorously oppose Government decisions that harm rural Australia. There is an undeniable* need to re-establish in Government policy priorities the primacy of * primary industry as the leading wealth generating sector of the country.

“Federal Labor has treated the rural sector with disdain - a fact that has been highlighted by its failure to present a primary industry policy for this election.

“Farmers have a clear picture of what the Coalition is offering through its detailed policy. It is the opportunity of a return to farm profitability, increased competitiveness and greater confidence for the future, underlined by a clear commitment to the family farm as the backbone of the primary sector.

“At best, all farmers can expect from Labor is more of the same - and that's just not good enough," Mr Anderson said.

February 26 1996 Contact Paul Davey 0 1 5 -9 1 3 150