Minister mixes with district farmers
Victoria’s peak farmer group has used a Wimmera visit by Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford to discuss issues from farm safety and native-vegetation laws to a need to upgrade road and rail networks.
Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke hosted Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford at his Murra Warra farm near Horsham on Friday night. During the visit the minister heard from district farmers on a range of issues.
Mr Jochinke said it was vital for government ministers to ‘get out of the office and into the header seat once in a while’ to understand the issues facing regional Victoria.
“We took advantage of a unique opportunity to bring Minister Pulford out to the country to connect with local farmers,” Mr Jochinke said.
“We appreciate the minister fronting up to farmers and answering difficult questions because it shows the government is taking an active interest in our agricultural regions.”
Ms Pulford followed a barbecue at Mr Jochinke’s farm by meeting in a public gathering where she underwent lobbying for further investment into resources to improve the state’s freight infrastructure.
“It’s not every day that rural communities get the ear of a senior State Government minister, but the gathering was a perfect chance for locals to tell Minister Pulford in their own words how they think the Victorian agriculture industry can remain sustainable and productive,” Mr Jochinke said.
“A lot of people are concerned about the maintenance of road and rail infrastructure, considering the issues that are plaguing the V-line freight network, so we made it clear how important it is to have strong infrastructure that can carry freight vehicles.”
Ms Pulford also used the occasion to announce a $60,000 grant for Birchip Cropping Group to deliver a precision agriculture project the Government said would ‘empower grain growers to better utilise digital technologies and analytics that are transforming the agricultural industry’.