Min­is­ter mixes with district farm­ers

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

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’.

Jaala Pul­ford

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