Letter to the Editor (Victoria's agriculture exports)
Thursday 12 July 2018
Victoria is an agricultural powerhouse, and we’ve built an enviable reputation as a region that can reliably deliver clean, green, premium produce to domestic and overseas markets.
Our willingness to adopt R&D and respond to market demands, and our rigorous biosecurity measures and export protocols have put Victorian farm and food businesses in a prime position to tap into growing export markets across the Asian region.
But the drive has stalled in the last three years, with a State Labor Government that just hasn’t fully grasped the opportunity sitting at our farm gates.
State Budget papers confirm the Andrews Labor Government has cut trade engagement spending by more than half, and quietly shelved important work to strengthen market opportunities in Asia which began in 2013.
Similarly, there wasn’t any new money for agricultural research and development in this year’s Budget.
Trade opportunities take time, patience and persistence to develop and if Victoria continues to disengage our farmers, our wider State economy will miss out.
Victorian farmers and food manufacturers deserve a State government that has a vision for their growth and is prepared to invest in their future.
Shadow Minister for Agriculture
Leader of The Nationals
Member for Murray Plains