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Gillard Government supports farmers to have their say



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S e n a t o r t h e H o n . J o e L u d w i g

M i n i s t e r f o r A g r i c u l t u r e , F i s h e r i e s a n d F o r e s t r y

S e n a t o r f o r Q u e e n s l a n d

Media contact: Melissa Patch 0418 734 413 or Katana Smith 0459 813 574

Gillard Government supports farmers to have their say

Australian farmers have been given a substantial boost by the Gillard Government as they help shape the future of agriculture policy.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today announced a contribution of $150,000 towards the National Farmers’ Federation’s Blueprint for Australian Agriculture.

Minister Ludwig attended today’s blueprint forum in Wagga Wagga and said it was a great opportunity for farmers and rural communities to provide input on key issues and challenges facing the industry and regional communities now and into the future.

“The blueprint will assist in informing industry’s policy development and will provide direction for building a strong and sustainable future for the agricultural sector,” Minister Ludwig said.

The Gillard Government will provide $75,000 to assist the NFF gather the views of farmers and rural communities with a strong focus on women and young people in agriculture. It will also provide $75,000 of in-kind support from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, including technical support from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.

“This is consistent with the government’s aim to help build the leadership and representative capacity of women and young people, to strengthen community resilience and the productivity of primary industries,” Minister Ludwig said.

The NFF is in the process of conducting workshops with all industry stakeholders, with the aim of developing the blueprint. Forums have already been held in Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and today in southern NSW. More events and venues will be held in coming months.

“On 3 February 2012, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Sid Sidebottom, along with officers from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, participated in a NFF roundtable meeting on agricultural labour and skills to inform the blueprint,” Minister Ludwig said.

“The NFF has also developed toolkits to guide farmers, agribusinesses and community groups to hold their own blueprint sessions, as well as releasing an online survey to encourage stakeholder involvement.

“I congratulate the NFF on this important initiative and encourage everyone with an involvement or interest in agriculture to part in the blueprint. I look forward to hear the feedback to come out of the upcoming workshops and survey.”

This latest announcement continues the Gillard Government’s commitment to Australian agriculture. Last week Minister Ludwig announced $500,000 for the Australian Year of the Farmer.

For more information, visit www.nff.org.au/blueprint