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Young farmers encouraged to put leadership skills into practice.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Warren Truss MP Minister for Transport and Regional Services

02 September 2005 018WT/2005


The Australian Government Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss, has challenged one hundred young farmers from across Australia to not only set their sights on being leaders in the future but to make a contribution to the direction of primary industries today.

Mr Truss, who was speaking at the first-ever National Young Farmers' Forum in Canberra last night, said that young farmers have a real opportunity to influence and contribute to decision-making at both national and community levels now.

"Strong leadership is essential to build strong communities, through the identification of local solutions for local problems," he said.

The inaugural National Young Farmers' Forum delivers on an election commitment from the Coalition Government.

Mr Truss said the Forum provides an opportunity for young people from rural and remote areas to build their skills and experience, and develop ideas and actions that will benefit Australia's agriculture, fisheries, food and forestry industries.

"The future of Australian farming is challenging. To meet the challenges of drought and water shortages, we need to be more innovative and adaptive. To take advantage of the opportunities associated with changes to the global trade environment, we must be even more competitive and attend to our customers' requirements."

Mr Truss outlined to the 100 delegates his responsibility for two key regional funding programs: the Sustainable Regions and the Regional Partnerships programs.

"Our approach to regional development is to work in partnership with local communities, local governments and local leaders to develop strategic directions for their regions.

"Regional communities are best placed to meet future challenges if people work together towards common goals and visions for their region.

"The National Young Farmers' Forum demonstrates that the future of farming in Australia is in good hands.

"I encourage young people to become familiar with important regional funding initiatives such as the Regional Partnerships program and use those mechanisms to help create their own thriving community, which will both attract and retain the skills that they will need in their future farming enterprises," Mr Truss said.

The National Young Farmers' Forum is being held from 1-2 September 2005. It is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Media Contacts

Kylie Butler ( Mr Truss's Office ) 02 6277 7680 / 0417 652 488