Young farm­ers meet min­is­ter

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Ag Life - BY COLIN MACGIL­LIVRAY

Minyip farmer Tom Mcgrath be­lieves a meet­ing with new state agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Ja­clyn Symes will yield pos­i­tive re­sults for young farm­ers in Vic­to­ria.

Mr Mcgrath is a mem­ber of the Young Farm­ers Advisory Coun­cil, a min­is­te­rial advisory body ad­vo­cat­ing for young Vic­to­ri­ans in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

The coun­cil met with Ms Symes for the first time since she took over the port­fo­lio from Mem­ber for Western Vic­to­ria Jaala Pul­ford.

Mr Mcgrath said the meet­ing had es­tab­lished a good ba­sis for fur­ther dis­cus­sions with Ms Symes.

“I think the big­gest thing to take from it is that Ja­clyn seems to be re­ally ex­cited about hav­ing a go,” he said.

“She sounds like she re­ally wants to make an im­pact and have a go at mak­ing the in­dus­try at­trac­tive to up and com­ing young peo­ple.

“She doesn’t want to rest on her lau­rels, but re­ally shake things up and look at a few things in a dif­fer­ent way, which is good.”

Mr Mcgrath called for young farm­ers in the Wim­mera to con­tact him prior to the meet­ing so he could ac­cu­rately rep­re­sent their con­cerns to Ms Symes.

He said he was un­able to ad­dress many spe­cific is­sues dur­ing the coun­cil’s ini­tial meet­ing, but he ex­pected to be able to ad­dress is­sues in depth at fu­ture meet­ings.

“I’ll get that op­por­tu­nity to put across the con­cerns of the farm­ers in the Wim­mera,” he said.

“I raised the gen­eral is­sue of in­fra­struc­ture within our area. Ob­vi­ously in­ter­net and phone con­nec­tiv­ity is still a ma­jor is­sue within our area, and that’s some­thing that re­ally shouldn’t still need ad­dress­ing in 2019.”

Mr Mcgrath said top­ics such as men­tal health and wa­ter ac­cess and al­lo­ca­tion were also dis­cussed.

He said he was un­sure when the coun­cil’s next meet­ing with Ms Symes would be, but en­cour­aged young Wim­mera peo­ple to con­tinue to con­tact him with any con­cerns.

“We’re not cer­tain of the next time we’ll meet with her,” he said.

“It’s more about when she needs ad­vice on hot top­ics at the time.

“Just as a coun­cil we could meet two times a year, we could meet four times a year.

“With the min­is­ter her­self, it will prob­a­bly be two or three times a year.

“She has also given us the sup­port to say that if she’s got an event in the area or we’re in her area, we’re wel­come to at­tend and talk to her.”

Peo­ple can con­tact Mr Mcgrath to share their con­cerns by email­ing thomasjm­c­[email protected] out­look.com.

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