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Victorian Government ignores our farming future.

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Warren Truss MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Federal Member for Wide Bay

Victorian Government Ignores our Farming Future 29 October 2001

The Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, has criticised the Victorian Labor Government's decision to cut funding to the Victorian Young Farmers Organisation.

"This is a move typical of Labor," Mr Truss said. "By cutting funding to a 54-year-old rural institution, once again Labor has demonstrated its complete lack of understanding of rural and regional Australia.

"The VYF provides invaluable service and support to young farmers through its 43 branches across Victoria. 36% of all people working in agriculture and fisheries are aged between 18 and 35 years.

"Organisations like the Victorian Young Farmers are the backbone of rural communities. It is a disgrace that the Victorian Government should abandon this significant group, which has made such an extraordinary contribution to the development of agriculture and community leadership in Victoria.

"Young people are the future of farming in Australia and it is crucial that appropriate and relevant support structures are in place to keep young people in rural communities and interested in a career in farming,' said Mr Truss.

"A remarkable proportion of Victoria's current rural leaders are past members of the VYF."

The Federal Coalition Government has recognised the need to support future leaders in the bush and has committed to expand its programs to develop young leaders for rural and regional Australia through:

• Young rural leaders training courses • Grants Program for rural youth organisations • Study Awards Program for young farmers • Improved governance skills program including company director training • Sponsorship of major rural youth conferences and events • AFFA Science awards for young people involved in rural industries

"Young leaders in rural areas will continue to be a priority of a Federal Coalition Government in its third term," Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, said.