World-class agri­cul­ture for Queens­land farm­ers

Isis Town and Country - - News -

AS­SIS­TANT Min­is­ter to the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Keith Pitt is back­ing Aus­tralia’s world-class agri­cul­tural sec­tor dur­ing vis­its to re­gional Queens­land farms and busi­nesses.

Mr Pitt con­tin­ues to work closely with the sec­tor in his min­is­te­rial role and said it was im­por­tant for pri­mary pro­duc­ers to keep boost­ing their pro­duc­tiv­ity in or­der to cap­i­talise on the many op­por­tu­ni­ties ahead in a com­pet­i­tive global econ­omy.

“I met with gra­ziers in the Gaeta area west of Bund­aberg and we dis­cussed a wide range of is­sues which in­cluded in­fra­struc­ture, em­ploy­ment and biose­cu­rity mat­ters,” Mr Pitt said.

“I also vis­ited Pa­cific Gold Ma­cadamias north of Bund­aberg, the sec­ond largest pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity of its type in Aus­tralia, which dur­ing har­vest sea­son em­ploys some 90 staff and op­er­ates 24 hours a day.

“These vis­its re­in­force how flex­i­ble and for­ward-look­ing our agri­cul­ture sec­tor re­ally is. Our farm­ers are har­ness­ing the lat­est in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy to en­sure con­tin­ued devel­op­ment and growth, with the di­rect and in­di­rect ben­e­fits flow­ing right through re­gional com­mu­ni­ties.”

Mem­ber for Flynn Ken O’Dowd hosted Mr Pitt in his elec­torate for the visit and wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties fac­ing his lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“The re­gion is un­der­go­ing an eco­nomic tran­si­tion, fol­low­ing the enor­mous con­struc­tion boom. I see agri­cul­ture be­ing a vi­tal growth el­e­ment of our econ­omy both now and into the fu­ture,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“In­no­va­tive op­er­a­tors, like Pa­cific Gold Ma­cadamias at Oak­wood, are well suited to the changes that al­ways come to ex­port in­dus­tries. In­no­va­tion is the key to the fu­ture and it’s great to see it so clearly here in the re­gion.”

Mr Pitt said that while Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture was a sec­tor that en­joyed a world-class rep­u­ta­tion as a re­li­able sup­plier of clean, green and safe agri­cul­tural pro­duce, there was al­ways more work to be done in or­der to take best ad­van­tage of grow­ing global de­mand.

“To­day I’m meet­ing with var­i­ous agri­cul­tural bod­ies and vis­it­ing a num­ber of farms in the Cen­tral Queens­land re­gion to ex­plore op­tions to fur­ther ad­dress labour is­sues in the sec­tor, and ex­am­ine op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­creased soil health and agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity gains,” he said.

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