Agri­cul­ture min­is­ter up­beat over fu­ture

Net­work­ing and grow­ing in­dustr y on din­ners’ menu

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY GUIDE - BY SHANE DOUTHIE sd­outhie@ ne­me­dia.com.au

THE North East Agri­cul­tural Din­ners were es­tab­lished by Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) as a ‘non-po­lit­i­cal’ event.

“They are about bring­ing our agri­cul­ture sec­tor to­gether to net­work and talk to each other,” Ms McGowan said.

“We want to grow agri­cul­ture, but we can’t do that un­til peo­ple know each other.

“This is the fifth one, which had around 150 peo­ple.”

Last month a sim­i­lar styled din­ner, for man­u­fac­tur­ers, at­tracted 90 peo­ple from through­out the re­gion.

“One of the driv­ers be­hind this was hear­ing there was a dis­con­nect be­tween man­u­fac­tur­ers and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions around skills,” Ms McGowan said.

Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Jobs and In­dus­trial Re­la­tions, Kelly O’Dwyer, will be the guest speaker at the next man­u­fac­tur­ers din­ner, to be held Novem­ber 15 at The Gate­way in Wan­garatta.

THERE is still a good story to be told about Aus­tralian agri­cul­ture de­spite grow­ing con­cerns about wors­en­ing drought con­di­tions in many parts of the coun­try ac­cord­ing to Fed­eral Water Re­sources David Lit­tleproud.

pro­duc­ers at El­do­rado last week fol­low­ing a fo­rum in Shep­par­ton at lunchtime where his re­cep­tion from farm­ers con­cerned about the lack of water al­loca Basin sys­tem was less wel­com­ing.

He was in Wan­garatta to speak later that evening at the North East Ag In­dus­try din­ner.

“The value of agri­cul­ture in Aus­tralia has grown from $36 bil­lion to $60 bil­lion in the last six years and we must be proud

“We need the mar­ket to un­der­stand that and the wider Aus­tralian pub­lic.”

He said lo­cal farm­ers he spoke to dur­ing the day were in­ter­ested in a va­ri­ety of is­sues in­clud­ing trade, water avail­abil­ity and in­put costs such as en­ergy and labour costs.

“It’s also im­por­tant we keep ex­pand­ing our agri­cul­ture ed­u­ca­tion,” he said.

“Peo­ple un­der­stand there is a real ca­reer path­way now in agri­cul­ture, not only on the land but in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy re­search.

“It’s im­por­tant we bring the young peo­ple into the in­dus­try.”

Shep­par­ton a new manda­tory code for the dairy in­dus­try will be in­tro­duced.

He said the code was a re­sult of the recent ACCC in­quiry into the dairy in­dus­try and there would be an ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion process with key stake­hold­ers, in par­tic­u­lar the pro­duc­ers and pro­ces­sors.

sim­i­lar re­form into the red meat in­dus­try had stalled he be­lieved it would get back on track.

“I’m very sup­port­ive of con­tin­u­ing that process, I want the in­dus­try to lead and I was heart­ened what I heard from pro­duc­ers at El­do­rado,” he said.

der­stood the de­sire of pro­duc­ers want­ing a say in their share of the cat­tle levy which the ACCC in pro­ces­sors rather than the farm­ers.

“They (pro­duc­ers) don’t feel they have a seat at the ta­ble,” he said.

OUT AND ABOUT: Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture and Water Re­sources Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud was heart­ened by the at­ti­tude of lo­cal farm­ers he met at El­do­rado and Wan­garatta last week.

YAY: Check out the open gar­dens in Yea this week­end.

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