Letter to the Editor (Food and Fibre report)
Friday 18 November 2016
This year, for the first time in five years, the value of Victoria’s food and fibre exports fell.
In 2015-16, exports totalled $11.9 billion. Last year they exceeded $12 billion.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford says this is “outstanding” but the results are actually a wake-up call for this city-centric Labor Government.
Victoria is Australia’s powerhouse of food and fibre exports, making up 26 per cent of the national total, but there must be more investment in country Victoria to maintain and grow these important industries.
Labor’s neglect of regional Victoria, including our crumbling country roads, is making it harder to do business and to get our agricultural products from paddock to port.
It’s vital there is more funding allocated to fixing and maintaining the country road network, and Labor must move forward with the Murray Basin Rail project.
Victoria also can’t afford for the Andrews Government to drop the ball on the development of detailed protocols for the export sector so they can take advantage of the FTAs that have been negotiated.
The Liberal-Nationals value our farmers and food businesses. We understand that maintaining the status quo will not build a strong future for the industries that are the backbone of Victoria’s regional and rural communities.
Leader of The Nationals
Shadow Minister for Agriculture